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Report: Baby Cleared to Play; Scal In, Quis Out, Sheed Up in the Air

 

So says A. Sherrod Blakely at CSN, citing anonymous sources.

The Celtics have a well-respected medical staff, so I’m just going to nod and assume no one would ever put Glen Davis in position he shouldn’t be in. I trust the team on this. The Celtics need all the size they can get, if only to foul Howard in the post.

Update (4:48 p.m.): You’ve undoubtedly seen this on ESPN.com by now, but Danny Ainge gave further updates on WEEI today: 

• Davis is “likely” to play;

• Daniels is out; Brian Scalabrine will replace Daniels on the active roster. Wouldn’t it be something if Scal made a huge shot tonight? 

• Rasheed Wallace is a game-time decision.

Got all that? Imagine being Doc Rivers right now. The game starts in less than four hours, and there’s a decent chance half of your big man rotation will be able to give you little/nothing. If that happens, do you spend more time going small, with Pierce (or, gulp, Scal) at the four? Do you start playing a subtler version of Hack-a-Howard earlier in the game with the bench guys? 

Oy.

  • Jason

    I’m sure these guys aren’t quacks, but can I respectfully disagree with the “well-respected” tag? Um, KG’s knee last year? And I don’t mean the PR plays, I mean letting him come back for 4 games too early only to re-aggravate it. And also, not getting the surgery done earlier. How about Scal’s 3 concussions? Was his best interest served going back out there when clearly not fully recovered or removed from his previous BRAIN CONTUSION(S)? Letting Pierce play hurt when he could’ve used a couple more games off? Borderline decision, but still the staff (medical, coaching or front office) didn’t exactly earn kudos for their handling here. And, in fact, I can’t really recall any situation in this medical staff has done anything remotely laudable.

  • Jay P

    Ed Lacerte has been the Celtics trainer for a very long time. And Bird credited him with being the reason he was able to play as long as he did.

    I don’t doubt the staffs competence. Far as the examples you gave, those things are very hard to anticipate. I don’t know enough about medicine to argue any of the points you made.

    I’ll just suffice to say, he’s been around a long time, and he knows what he’s doing.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    The C’s team doctor, Brian McKeon, has won a bunch of awards and flew to Haiti with a bunch of top U.S. doctors for shortly after the earthquake. Ed Lacerte is one of the most well-respected trainers in the game. Sorry, Jason, but if you “can’t remember any situation in which this medical staff has done anything remotely laudable,” I don’t know what to tell you.

  • Jason

    Again, I’m not saying they’re morons, but I haven’t see brilliance either. The most direct comparable to BBD is just last year with Scal. Do you remember the Celtics’ fans site exploding with concern and sympathy for Scal last year after his second and third concussion? That’s very fresh in my mind. As admittedly very distant observer with absolutely zero first hand knowledge of this situation, it makes me very nervous for BBD knowing what happened to Scal last year.

    And btw let’s be very clear that Lacerte is a trainer. He may be a fantastic trainer, but he’s not a doctor. I’m discussing the medical staff as a whole (trainer and doctors) but also front office, coaching and player input as well. As a whole, I think it’s pushing it if someone were to defend them vehemently.

  • Jason

    They might be great people, but please can you defend the KG situation last year? Can you defend the Scal situation? The Pierce situation? C’mon, please give me situations in which a decision made regarding a player’s health has been commendable. I’m not trying to be difficult. I want someone to prove to me (or at least try) that this organization has a staff in place that I can just blindly trust. Right now, for me, that’s simply not the case.

  • http://secureimmaturity.com Will

    Hey guys,

    I am really glad Big Baby is okay. As a Magic fan ‘against’ your team, you forget how these people are human beings. All the nervousness and faux-hatred I and other Magic fans were feeling during the game was washed away instantly when you saw someone hurt. . .and possibly in a serious way.

    And I’m not just saying this because I’m a Magic fan but if one of my players had a concussion I wouldn’t play him two days later. . .that’s just me. Doctors or not, it just seems dangerous, especially with Dwight’s elbows around.

    Any news on Daniels? Was he cleared as well. It might be strange if he isn’t cleared but the more important player is.

  • http://www.hotmail.com Josh

    2 players I hope never win rings: Lebron & Howard

  • CG

    @Jason – you are forgetting the minor detail that these guys are professional athletes and WANT to play. It is hard to keep them out, when they know their job could be riding on whether they play or not. It isn’t ever cut and dried when a player is sufficiently healed to be ready to go. Should they have shut KG down for the entire year because that was the best chance for him to get all the way better, even though he wanted to play, and thought he could play through the pain without injuring himself further? It is easy to be very conservative with how you treat an athlete, and extremely hard to get the balance between health and the competitive drive just right. Blaming the doctors is just plain silly. The Cs are an enormously sophisticated organization, wouldn’t give their players anything less than the best care, and have every reason to safeguard their long-term investment in their players.

  • sacbobv

    Just have to make sure everyone gets a boxers helmet for tonight’s game, just in case.

  • dslack

    CG, it’s not hard to keep them out. The coach has to put them in; they don’t put themselves in.

    I’m not suggesting that in any particular situation the doctors did anything wrong, and with the Pierce/KG situations it seems particularly hard to blame the medical staff because analysis of those injuries relies heavily on how the players say they’re feeling and so optimistic and tough players can get themselves back on the court.

    But the Scal situation? they eventually did sit him out for a long time after his 3rd concussion, but what about after the first 2? I’m not a doctor, but it’s pretty astounding to me, given what we’ve learned about concussions over the last decade, that Davis would be cleared to play a physical sport 2 days after a concussion. This seems like a decision from the NFL/NHL of the 90s, not from the world of 2010. I hope my concern is misplaced.

    Perhaps the word “concussion” wasn’t quite accurate? The wikipedia article is of course not the be-all and end-all, but it says that doctors often recommend repeated observations for 72 hours, and extra rest for 3 weeks.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concussion#Treatment

  • Jason

    @CG I’m not forgetting it at all, actually, but as you said, it’s minor (though you were probably being sarcastic). At the end of the day, their skill set is to play basketball, not to make health decisions. We want them to have that tough mentality, but it cuts both ways to sometimes doing things to their (and the team’s) detriment. Players has input, and he should, but the buck should ALWAYS stop with the staff. Blaming the doctors is not silly. The player’s job is to play. The doctor’s job should balance that, properly and more objectively evaluating the ability to play and the risk (further injury, delayed healing, substandard performance, whatever) involved. Staff is responsible and accountable for these decisions. I don’t see how this is debatable in the slightest.

    And you are right in that they are huge investments that should be protected. So why not err on the side of caution? Why put a guy who was just cold cocked back in harm’s way?

    I’m still waiting for anyone to refute that they didn’t handle those situations well. Or at least offer some other situations they did handle well. Still waiting ….

  • I love Green

    If we lose tonight, we have no chance of winning game 7. This is almost literally our game 7.

  • Jason

    @dslack. I don’t think the KG/Pierce situations were that difficult to see they were far below their fully healthy level. Any armchair doctor/trainer could see they should have sat. That’s kind of my point. Obvious observations seem to be overlooked or ignored. Though, the Celtics org is not alone in making seemingly egregiously bad medical decisions.

    I’ve seen trainers let clearly hurt pitchers throw a “test” pitch only to have the pitcher spring off the mound in pain. Um, why did you let that guy do that moron? I could see from here you shouldn’t have done that. You have failed in your very important responsibilities if casual fans can make better decisions than you from their couch.

  • joe

    THE C’S NEED TO MATCH FIRE WITH FIRE. PUT DWIGHT ON HIS ASS

  • Jay P

    @joe

    Please stop. Or go write for the Globe.

  • Jason

    By all accounts, the Phoenix staff is head and shoulders above anyone in the league. They’ve kept Nash, Hill and Shaq healthy in almost stunning fashion. Then we have the Celtics’ staff who lets Scal get 3 concussions in rapid succession. They let tape-recorder-sized-bone-spur-and-knee-tendinitis KG go play, not 1 game, not 2 game, not 3 games, but 4 games before figuring out, gee maybe this isn’t the best idea. This is an excellent medical staff how? Because they’ve been around a long time? Because they volunteered in relief efforts?

    I don’t expect them to do fountain of youth stuff that apparently only Phoenix has figured out. But shouldn’t I be able to expect they don’t give a guy with 1 concussion (or 2) the all clear unless he’s really all clear? Shouldn’t I expect them to sit a guy who has an arthritic knee and needs surgery? I think that’s a minimum reasonable expectation and yet it seems they’ve failed even in those pretty elementary decisions. This earns them my (or your) confidence how?

  • joe

    @ Jay P, the guy damn near took out the entire frontline with “unintentional” elbows. Why not retaliate?

  • CG

    @jason – I was being sarcastic, which was unnecessary. You obviously can’t trust players to make health care decisions, but it isn’t cut and dried when a player is to injured to play. You are benefiting from 20/20 hindsight. You can’t look back and say “see what happened” and conclude they were flat-out wrong. Maybe they were wrong about some of these decisions, but we have way too little information as lay people (at least I am) who don’t know all the facts to judge the quality of care the Cs doctors provided.

    Andrew Bynum is playing with a torn knee ligament. Should the Lakers staff make him sit? How about Tony Allen, playing with a bad ankle, and Rasheed Wallace, with a balky back? Players regularly play when they are injured. It is quite possible with PP and KG that the doctors thought they could play with pain, but not increase the chances of further injury, and that it turns out they were wrong. It can happen, and not because they are incompetent or not looking out for the players. On the other hand, maybe it is James Woods in Any Given Sunday, all over again.

    @dslack – you are of course right, in the literal sense. I was thinking along the lines of your later comments, as I’ve stated above. The team is making decisions based on a lot of incomplete information which is subject to varying interpretations, filtered through the lens of an athlete who may or may not be telling you what you need to know. That is hard. Just because some decisions didn’t work out doesn’t mean they aren’t looking after the players.

    I don’t know enough about concussions to opine on whether they handled Scal right or whether it is wise to let Baby play. But I’m not suspicious that the medical staff will sacrifice BBD’s brain, against proper medical protocol, for one game. Maybe I should be. Besides – not to make light of the seriousness of head injuries – I did get a chuckle out of seeing the “Skullabrine.” headband last year.

    In any event, I hope Baby’s health is taken care of and that the Cs win. That isn’t too much to ask.

  • dslack

    @CG, my initial comment probably came off as a bit sarcastic, and I’m sorry about that. The Davis decision sounds very wrong to me, but I’m not a doctor and don’t have access to the tests they put him through so I can’t be sure. But it really seems that they can’t be positive (as they were wrong last year with Scal) so they should be as safe as possible.

    Hoping Davis sits and Shelden has a big game.

  • Coolin

    Davis playing tonight is going to be huge, watch when he enters the game tonight the Celtics are going to get a jolt like you haven’t seen this series. This solidifies the series, as Davis is going big time tonight for a little refenge (i.e. coming out winners)on that Mr. Cheap Shot b—h .

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Some good points here. You do have to wonder how something so big in KJ’s knee could be looked upon as something to be taken care of after the season was over. Paul has had several injuries this year. Paul, himself, said that he came back too early from injuries. Most players want to get back in there. Maybe some are afraid of losing their job while others just love the game. Players want to play. That leaves the doctors/trainers/medical staff & the coaches standing between the players & the court. Doc has admitted he made a mistake letting Paul come back to early from injury (the 1st time was the 1st game @ the Pacers this year when Paul was hobbling around the court). The medical staff made a mistake clearing Paul & Doc (admittedly after the game) made a mistake continuing to play an obviously injured Paul. Paul hurt the team with his poor play. That game ended in a loss. Maybe that is what Rondo meant when he was talking about individual agendas vs team play.

    I can see the medical staff leaning toward the player’s desire to play when it comes to injuries. The player will be smiling, joking, & putting his best foot forward with that medical review, but the ultimate judge ends up being the coach (& the fans) because an actual game is where the injury is tested under the most extreme conditions. It is extremely hard to cover up an injury for long playing at such a high level.

    Maybe, initially, the injury looked better, but then fatigue took its toil & inflammation set it. The buck ultimately stops at the coach who sees his player laboring/hurt & pulls him. I think with KG. They were ALL greedy to see what they could get away with regardless of his injury. Doc hates a sulky Paul so he just put him in this year hoping for the best. The worst thing I’ve seen this year is when an injured (usually Paul) player hurts the team & will not even take himself out. Sure Paul is an all star, but he can’t limp his way around on defense. It really has reached the absolute worst when, we, the fans can clearly see a player struggling so bad that it is hurting the team, but the player is still in the game. That is inexcusable. Doc could have put a stop to a lot of this nonsense earlier in games this season, but he has been a big part of the problem with his bench phobia.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    I hope Scal gets a chance. Sometimes he plays extremely hard defense & puts a body on guys to make a big difference on the boards. I remember how pleasantly shocked I was when he shut down Josh Smith in that Hawks game. That was totally unexpected.

  • Jason

    @CG I’m not judging the results and playing the hindsight game. KG wasn’t even hit, went up on his own and came down very hurt. That’s not a bruise. It indicates something tore or nearly tore. They rested him, tested him and put him back in games. He was clearly still hurt. Clearly. Please go re-reading every article from that time period. EVERYONE said he was not KG. There were concerns everywhere. Yet they kept playing him. That’s not one failure. That’s continuous failure. Not just in his ability to play that day, but to prepare (if possible at all) to come back when it mattered for the playoffs. Then they delayed the surgery. We’re lucky he started getting better last month instead of maybe next month. What if that delay cost the Cs this year in addition to last year? And how could the doctors think it wasn’t going to get worse? It blew up with no catalyst in the first place. It was an orange-sized bone spur. In what world is the knee tendon NOT going to be further damaged by playing?

    Scal? That’s not hindsight. You don’t need hindsight to second guess that decision. Here’s the situation. The guy has not one but two recent concussions (as if letting him back after the first was so wise). This is a contact sport. He’s a big, where there’s even more, heavier, head-neckish contact. You A) sit him to protect his twice bruised brain or B) send him out there again with all the protection a freaking headband can provide. Seriously? Choice B is defensible?

    Pierce. Again, everyone saw him as subpar. He admitted it later he shouldn’t have played. If the regular season means something, fine suck it up. If this team is punting the regular season, which they clearly were, then Pierce playing is all risk and no reward. So, again there’s no hindsight in the analysis. Pierce should have punted a couple more games and got fully healthy. Long term it didn’t hurt, but the KG thing did. The Scal thing did. Let’s hope the BBD thing doesn’t.

  • Chris

    Is it really smart to play scal tonight?

    I can easily see him getting a concussion tonight

  • JP

    I am terrified about this game tonight. Terrified, if Orlando wins, I will be in even worse shape and so will the Celtics. I think the the Big 3 (who are all healthy) will step up huge tonight, like we need them too, and we can pull out a win, and hopefully rest up our guys for the Finals.

  • JP

    also, why hasn’t Howard been suspended? I understand that most of the fouls seem like accidents but he’s not even getting flagrant. He has to be taught to not swing his elbows around. I mean 2 concussions in 1 game? Maybe thats just the Celtics fan inside me but c’mon.

  • CG

    @Jason – you are using hindsight. Just because someone looks injured and is injured doesn’t mean they can’t keep playing while they heal. Those are the judgments medical staffs make that we can’t accurately assess because we aren’t professionals and don’t know everything they know.

    Having KG and PP play ended up not working out, but when they first came back, I don’t see how you could distinguish between a player who is rusty and perhaps still somewhat injured, but working his way back, vs. a player who is genuinely injured and really shouldn’t play. They both look injured and that is about all you and I, as viewers, can tell. You say that it was obvious that something was wrong, but I think you can only say that because you know how it worked out.

    You seem to expect that players only play when they are 100% healthy. That is never going to happen. Players gut it out all the time. There is an exploitative/foolish aspect to it at times, but there is also something I can respect about it. Again, TA is hurt, Rasheed is hurt, Rondo appears to be hurting. They will continue to play. If it turns out that none of them are or end up being seriously injured, nothing will be said about it. If any of them do end up more seriously hurt, the second-guessers will come out in force. The medical staff and team as a whole have a lot riding on not being wrong about making those calls, so I am prepared to give them some benefit of the doubt.

    As for Baby, he is playing and Quisy is sitting. That potentially indicates at least some genuine effort to evaluate each situation on its merits. You could, of course, conclude that Davis is playing because he is valuable and Daniels is sitting because he isn’t, but that is awfully cynical (and not necessarily wrong).

    It is both ethical and smart to be cautious with a player’s health, I just think that there is a lot more grey area for when a player can play through something than people realize.

    Go Celts.

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