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Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce Return To Practice, Expect to Play Sunday

 

Reinforcements are on the way for the Celtics in the form of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The two Hall of Famers took part in today’s practice in Waltham, and Doc Rivers expects them to play tomorrow’s game against the Washington Wizards. Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com was on the scene today with more from both Rivers and Garnett, speaking for the first time since he suffered the foot injury a couple weeks back.

“It’s important to get him back on the floor, but if he’s not ready, he’s not ready,” said Rivers. “I don’t know what the number of games is, everybody has their own thing with that, rhythm-wise, each individual player. And I don’t what Kevin’s would be, but I do know he’s been out a while and the playoffs are soon. So the sooner he gets back on the floor, the better. And I would lean towards him, now, once he’s cleared health-wise, it’s probably better for him, even if he can’t play a lot of minutes, to play in games. Because no matter what we do in practice, practice will never duplicate a game. And it’s never going to be the same intensity.” 

Garnett has been running and shooting lately, but Saturday would be his first contact activities since the inflammation occurred. 

“Obviously, I want to get a rhythm,” said Garnett. “I want to come in and be able to contribute. I want to get as close to 100 percent as I can. I’ve never come into postseason 100 percent, so it’s nothing new. But I do want a rhythm. And these last couple games, obviously, we’re playing for something. We’re trying to get things done as we’re out here playing. It’s pretty much what it is. I don’t want to go into the postseason, have no rhythm. I want to be healthy. That’s my first priority.” 

Garnett labeled himself day-to-day. 

“If I’m able [to play], if I’m strong enough and I feel like I can contribute, then yeah, other than that — it’s all guts, it’s all grit,” said Garnett. “That’s pretty much how my makeup is. I’ve always been able to put mind over matter with certain things and then when I was unable to do common things like walk or get in my car or drive myself, then obviously that’s an issue. But other than that, I’m used to playing through a lot of different things.”

In other news, Avery Bradley did not practice after suffering a bruised collarbone Friday night, but Rivers believes he’ll be ready to go for the Wizards game as well as the C’s work to lock down the 7th seed in the East. More on the status of both players as gametime approaches tomorrow night at 6pm ET.

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