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Kevin Garnett is “Feeling Better” and is With Team in New York

 

Kevin Garnett may be back in action sooner than you think. Garnett has missed Boston’s last four games, sidelined with inflammation in his left ankle last Saturday. Danny Ainge has said repeatedly that team expects Garnett to be out for about two weeks to rest the ankle and other assorted ailments.

With the Celtics preparing to face off with their division rivals tonight in New York, Garnett has traveled with the team today to Madison Square Garden. Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe has the story from the team’s shootaround this morning.

 Garnett was expected to participate in the team’s shootaround Sunday morning at Madison Square Garden, which is an encouraging sign considering the team wanted to shut him down for two weeks.

“He’s gonna do a little bit; he’s feeling a lot better,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “It’s nice having him around. I always like him around.”

There is no word yet on whether Garnett will travel with the team to Minnesota tomorrow night, but it has to be taken as a major positive that Garnett is looking good enough to travel at this point, as players don’t generally do that unless they are close to a return.

With the Celtics now three games ahead of the Bucks for the 7th seed with a ten games to go, it will be really interesting to see how the C’s medical staff and Doc plays this. On the one hand, the Celtics are still in the mix for the 5th seed, trailing the Hawks by just two games (they own the tiebreaker). On the other hand, the top priority is avoiding the Heat in the first round and the Celtics probably couldn’t care less who they face in the first round out of the Knicks/Pacers/Nets trio (although a strong case could be made to try to avoid the Pacers in my opinion).

Either way, Garnett’s health trumps all, so look for the team to baby him back in the next week or two, if he’s healthy. There will be a minutes limited and time for him to shake off the rust.

 

  • High Rollers

    No holding back the beast once he’s hungry and feeling good.

    The upcoming schedule is helpful in terms of keeping him in an ease-back-into-action mentality. A handful of cellar dwellers before Brooklyn, right? I just hope the other guys remember to go 120% whether Ticket laces up or not. They’ve had some time now to make a habit of it.

  • elroz

    Well, the Celtics are 2-0 vs the Pacers; they are 1-2 against NYK. The Knicks have more impact players – Carmelo, Chandler, Smith, Felton. I don't think it is at all clear that Indiana is a stronger team.

    I just hope the Bulls make it to 5th or 4th spot and meet Miami in the 2nd round.

    • High Rollers

      For all the real differences between Indiana and New York, the former remains underrated and the latter overrated. I doubt many people would disagree with that. I think their lowest common denominator is the fact that nobody really feels confident (outside their respective locker rooms) that they have the mental toughness to make it all the way through the East when the games count toward the LOB. The Knicks have rolled over to us before, and the Pacers to the Heat. (I still can't believe West and Hibbert let Miami push them around last year to get back into the series and race away with it.)

      I want Miami whenever the basketball gods see fit to put them in our path. They are who they are. They won't be that tired whatever round it is. They'll be jacked up, whiny, overly confident, ready, and second-guessing all at the same time… befitting a defending champ with a short history of equal parts success and embarrassment. It'll be a make-miss tournament of patience vs. panic for whoever faces them.

      I. Can't. Wait.

    • GymRat

      Regular season stats can be deceiving as a predictor of playoff match ups as the play shifts toward a slower, more physical style, with each rebound and loose ball paramount. I agree with you on the impact players that NYK have, I still don't feel like that team has fully gelled and if Carmelo isn't hitting they don't have the grind-out defense to fall back on to get things going.

      I'd much rather face NY than Indiana. Indiana's offense is pretty terrible, but their defense is top notch and they have a huge front line and a bunch of great rebounders. Their strengths are our weaknesses and their youth can really hurt us if they can hang in and make it a 7-game series. Most of all, unlike NYK, I agree they are underrated, and even underachieving. They are young, hungry and looking to make a name for themselves this year. I really hope it's not at our expense.

      • High Rollers

        Some regular season games will end up looking and feeling a lot like playoff games. Our last one against Indy qualifies, I think.

        I don't like the confidence we're giving the Knicks lately, but at the same time I don't think it makes all that much difference. Streaky shooters are, at the end of the day, streaky shooters. And hopefully at the end of the day the C's will hang their hats on good D. KG's return couldn't help but stoke that fire. (Knock on wood.)

        • GymRat

          Agreed on regular season games having playoff intensity. But what you can't simulate is the chess game of adjustments that happens when you are playing the same team and guarding the same guys for a stretch.

          Game to game adjustments and improvements are really what separates the teams that move on and those that don't. And again, a lack of experience with Indy, and their coach not really having much experience gives us an edge. There is a ton of playoff experience on NYK and Woodson IMO is a very underrated coach (look what he's done with JR Smith).

          But it's not like Boston gets to make the choice so we'll just hope to be healthy and be playing solid ball against whoever we face.

  • skeeds

    The only important thing is that we meet the Heat again. I know we can't overcome them, but it is our destiny to be their hardest series every playoffs. Any other end to the season would be anticlimactic. I'm really ok with them even obliterating us in 4.
    I think that even with Rondo out we match up pretty well against them, better than we do against teams with physical, strong frontcourts like the Knicks or the Pacers.

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