Before you watch the NBA Finals on Sunday night, you can enjoy some recent Celtics news and notes courtesy of the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy:
GARNETT STILL DEBATING A RETURN
While there have been whispers about the Celtics’ defensive stalwart returning for 2013-14, no final decision has been made:
“[He] still might be debating a return, though according to a league source, he has not had surgery on his troublesome left leg. Garnett spent all of his off-court playoff time in a therapeutic boot, and dropped hints about how much the inflammation in his left ankle area cut down on mobility. But rest appears to have been the solution to his issues.”
Not only has Kevin Garnett been one of the Celtics’ best players in a while, but also the 37-year-old big man’s leadership off the court has been particularly valuable. It is one of the reasons that the men in green have an NBA-best 56 playoff wins since 2008:
“Garnett always has policed the locker room for Rivers, whose own credibility as a leader has rested on the Hall of Famer’s clout with teammates. It really wasn’t that long ago when Rivers nursed a perpetual headache courtesy of the locker room damage done by bad chemistry guys like Ricky Davis and Mark Blount. Even Pierce wasn’t quite a unifying force before Garnett’s arrival.”
Not much has been heard from either Garnett or Doc Rivers, so Boston fans remain in a wait-and-see approach. However, after one decision is made, then the rest should fall into place.
DOC STAYING SILENT CONFIRMS CELTICSHUB’S THEORY
As Brian Robb commented a couple weeks ago, Rivers is keeping mum about his future because he wants the situations with Garnett and Paul Pierce to be solved first.
Murphy is in the same camp on this issue:
“Perhaps that’s because Rivers is anxiously split between two vigils of his own — the Ainge watch and the Kevin Garnett watch.
“Beyond whatever private considerations he might be contemplating, Rivers is waiting for Ainge to make two enormous, potentially era-changing decisions.”
Fortunately for Doc, the clock will strike midnight on June 30 when the Celtics must reach a verdict on the Captain. In just three weeks, Danny Ainge and company are the ultimately deciders on whether they will retain Pierce for a one-year, $15.3 million deal or buy him out for $5 million.
With the Celtics having to press the proverbial button on Pierce’s contract sooner rather than later, Rivers can be the one to delay his process. Boston may not hear anything from their current coach for another month as he contemplates a season without his two leaders:
“Rivers now has to be wondering about a locker room controlled by Rajon Rondo. The mercurial guard, to his credit, has been working the room. Avery Bradley, Jeff Green and Courtney Lee all happily follow him.
“But there’s a great unknown with Rondo. He’s moody, hasn’t always got along with Rivers, and has an indefatigable stubborn streak.”
After seeing the rift that Rajon Rondo created with Ray Allen, Doc might be hesitant to take on another project similar to the one before the New Big Three era.
NBA FINALS: GAME 2 CAN BE CALLED A MUST-WIN FOR MIAMI
The San Antonio Spurs could hand the Miami Heat a two-game losing streak for the first time in five months at the American Airlines Arena on Sunday. Not since the 2011 Finals has Miami lost two home games in a row.
If the Spurs grab a 2-0 series lead, the series might not even return to Miami. This Game 2 is a must-win for the Heat.
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