It’s been a tough week for the Boston Celtics. With a four-game losing streak already in the books, the attention now turns to the status of Courtney Lee and especially Kevin Garnett. Both players missed last night’s loss against the Grizzlies with ankle injuries, and both are due to have MRI’s in Boston at some point today. Here’s more from Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe:
After Courtney Lee said he would miss at least Saturday night’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies because of a sprained left ankle, Kevin Garnett also was declared out, also with a sprained left ankle. Garnett will be examined further when the team returns to Boston on Sunday.
Coach Doc Rivers was unsure when Garnett sustained the injury. Garnett missed two games because of a strained left adductor muscle and the flu, but returned for two games, combining for 36 points and 18 rebounds, playing 29 minutes in both.
“The first I heard of it was [Friday] night,” Rivers said. “I don’t know if he hurt it in the game [Friday] night or a couple of games [ago]. I have no idea.
“Whenever somebody does anything with an ankle, they do an MRI. So I’m sure him and Courtney, they’ll probably do one [on him], too.”
From an injury that no one noticed during the Dallas game, to an MRI that quickly for Garnett? I can’t say I like the sound of that.
Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald was also in Memphis last night and had more from Rivers and Lee:
“Whenever somebody does anything with an ankle, an (MRI) is what they do. If Courtney hasn’t had one, he’ll have one too. Get some more radiation and they’ll all die earlier,” Rivers said.
Lee, who had expressed hope of playing last night after turning his ankle with under two minutes left Friday, is now targeting Tuesday’s game at the Garden against the Knicks.
“The best thing to do is rest it this game, and then we have two days before a practice (tomorrow),” he said. “I thought I’d be able to play, but I’ve twisted my ankle quite a few times, but this was a good one. It rolled all the way. It swelled up quite a bit, but it didn’t turn black and blue at all.
“I’m definitely thankful that it wasn’t worse, the way that we’ve been going down.”
Rivers wasn’t as hopeful about a quick return. Ankle sprains rarely heal that quickly.
“I can’t look into it when guys say they want to play,” he said. “You either can or you can’t. I’m not worried about that one way or the other.”
CH’s Take: As with anything with KG, you have to worry when he goes in for some sort of MRI. Fortunately, Boston’s bad week has solved any kind of dilemma for themselves pertaining to whether he needs to play down the stretch in the regular season. Boston’s chances of winning the division are effectively down the drain now with their recent swoon. The same goes for earning home court advantage in the first round.
The only goal now really should be staying out of the eighth seed and a first round matchup with the Heat, even though some might argue getting the Heat in the first round might improve Boston’s slim chances of beating the defending champs.
All of this really is a long way of saying, the Celtics have no real reason to rush KG back. Resting and getting him healthy would likely take top priority in the first place over the rest of the regular season, but now there should be no debate at all. Give the guy some rest, get the foot and groin as healthy as possible and try to hold onto the 7th seed against a mostly favorable schedule down the stretch.
Like we saw last night, it’s time to hand things over to the reserves a bit and see what they can do. Celtics fans can only hope they perform as well as they did in the fourth quarter last night.