Well it sounds like Rondo was right about that whole non-rivalry deal after the resilient C’s pulled out an impressive road victory in Atlanta last night. Celticshub’s Zach Lowe has the full recap of that one. In the aftermath of the win however, Celtics fans attention has turned rightfully to the status of Kevin Garnett.
KG sat out the game in Atlanta after giving his worst performance (Wednesday night) in five games since he came back from his knee problem. Garnett did not look like himself in that game against Orlando and its likely he was suffering from some intense soreness that gave the training staff enough concern to put the brakes on his return for the time being. As Zach Lowe mentioned in his interview of knee expert a month back, these kind of injuries can be unpredictable and the C’s are finding that out the hard way right now.
Coach Doc Rivers said Garnett’s latest ailment “wasn’t an injury” and a doctor’s visit wasn’t necessary.
Rivers acknowledged considering sitting Garnett until late in the regular season and said a determination would be made “sometime soon.” An NBA source said Garnett still has discomfort and tightening in his knee. Rivers said Garnett will likely miss tomorrow’s game against Oklahoma City, but solid practices could allow him to return Wednesday against Charlotte.
“He’s not feeling great and we’re just not going to take the chance,” Rivers said. “A day of rest . . . it’s more just the whole knee strain. We’re just going to go day by day. I’d say that because we’re sitting him down that we’d probably do it for more than one game. But I’m not sure yet.”
Rivers said if last night had been a playoff game, Garnett would have been playing.
And some interesting quotes from Doc in the Herald:
“We’re just going to go day by day,” Rivers said. “I would say that because of this, sitting him down, I would probably say if we’re going to do it we’re going to do it more than one game, but I’m not sure yet. If he feels great (today), then (tomorrow) comes back into play. But I don’t know. There’s no reason to take a chance.
“He was sore the other day after the back-to-backs, but then he came back and played pretty well. It’s a little frustrating, and it’s tough for the guys because the lineups keep changing. When he doesn’t play, we play differently, too, so that’s been a little frustrating. But other than that, I look at the silver lining. It gets more guys on the floor hopefully to get them closer to being ready. So we’ll take advantage of it.”
According to Rivers, it’s still possible that Garnett will be on track for the increased minutes that were planned for the coming week. After tomorrow night’s game, the team has two days off. The rest could bring Garnett into line and warrant the extra playing time.
Putting it all together here, Doc is kind of straddling the fence with KG’s status, talking down the idea that Garnett sitting out is a setback, but acknowledging the possibility of another extended absence for The Big Ticket.
My gut says we will see Garnett sitting out for a couple of the games next week with Doc exercising extreme caution with the situation. It certainly must be a frustrating situation for Doc as he tries to get his team’s rotation consistent down the stretch here which will be much harder with KG’s absence. Health clearly has to come first here but its nice to be able to get everyone in rhythm in the last 10 games of the year rather than the 1st round of the playoffs.
Anyway you slice it, this knee injury bears some close watching these next few weeks as it has the potential of putting up a roadblock in the defending champions quest of repeating.