•Lots of C’s coverage this morning around the region, with the C’s coming off a big OT win Friday night. We start off with Chris Forsberg reporting on the C’s practice yesterday, where KG looked rebounded well from his first game back after a 10 game absence.
“It’s good to have Kevin back, but more importantly, it’s good to see him feeling better after a game where we went into OT,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. “Someone asked me about the minutes [Friday], but this is something totally different than last year [when Garnett needed knee surgery and had his season ended early]. We’re really not concerned about the minutes, our concern, minute-wise, was his conditioning.”
KG played 30 minutes Friday night in overtime, but that low total was partially due to some foul trouble in the overtime affair. It’s no surprise that Doc is being positive here with KG’s return, but it’s unquestionable how much of a difference KG’s mere presence on the floor made for this team’s psyche Friday night. The C’s need him on the floor to help them stay mentally tough.
• Pierce on the team’s ups and downs thus far, while keeping the focus on the long term:
“We haven’t reached our peak yet,” said Pierce. “We’re going to be a whole lot better than we have been. It’s tough for me to put a grade on it, we’ve been up and down, but we’ll see how the last few games go here before the All-Star break.
“It’ll be nice to get everybody back into it. We’ve played pretty much the whole season without a healthy [roster]. We’ll get everybody back and get rolling. It’s a long NBA season.”
Forsberg also had updates on the statuses of Scal and Marquis Daniels recoveries. Scal sat out Friday night with a shoulder (AC) sprain and is targeting a Thursday return against Orlando. Doc had some insight on the pain resulting from the injury:
“AC sprains — they go out and go back in,” said Rivers. “I had one and, to this day, I’ll be golfing and it will come out. And you just cant do anything for a couple days or a week. Sometimes it stays out and it can get worse, but usually it goes right back in. That’s what we have to deal with. It’s painful, I can tell you that. Scal’s been playing with it for a couple games, and it’s very painful to play with, you lose the urge to play quickly.”
Say what you want about Scal’s overall play but the guy is a trooper. Between trying to play through this injury and coming back during last year’s playoffs, likely a bit prematurely from post concussion syndrome due to the team so shorthanded up front, the guy will do anything got this team. You have to admire that.
Doc talks offensive rebounding and Steve Nash talks Rondo, after the jump
• Frank Dell’Apa has some good nuggets in his C’s notebook today in The Globe, one of which is Doc reflecting on the team’s offensive rebounding struggles. Surprisingly, he wasn’t too concerned:
“I don’t worry about offensive glass much. As many offensive rebounds as you get, I’d rather get back on defense. I’m more concerned about the defensive glass. We’re shooting above 50 percent, so half your offensive rebounds are gone every time you shoot the ball.
“We’re holding teams to 41-42 percent, so they’re clearly going to have more offensive-rebound opportunities. If we can get defensive glass, then we can shoot 60 percent because we can run.’’
I guess this is just more of a realization indirectly that the C’s aren’t ever going to be a good offensive rebounding team this year. However, their defensive rebounding has been just as pedestrian lately (17th overall in league percentage wise) so they are going to need to step up their efforts on both ends of the floor. KG’s return should help the defensive rebounding issues.
• Steve Bulpett also had some insight in The Herald from Steve Nash about just how well Rajon Rondo has progressed this year:
“He’s pretty unique,” said Nash, the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player. “I can’t think of anyone who quite has the same skill set he has. I mean, I guess the closest thing would have been maybe Jason Kidd in his day, but they’re still different types of athletes.”
Added Suns coach Alvin Gentry, “He’s developed into one of the best point guards in the league. I think that team has developed so much respect for his leadership ability. I mean, I think he is the leader of that team especially on the court, from the standpoint of putting guys in position and things like that. And he’s a big play guy.”
And some more from Nash on Rondo’s outside shooting:
“I’m sure his outside shot’s improving, but he probably just doesn’t have to rely on it because he does other things so well,” Nash said. “He’s so long. He can finish in the paint, make big plays for his teammates. He does a lot of different things on the court, so he doesn’t have to rely on his shooting.”
C’s will practice again today before hosting the Clippers tomorrow night. Then they will have another nice 2 days breather before a brutal 4 game in 5 nights stretch at the end of next week.