Celtics

Garnett (hip flexor) good to go for postseason

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Garnett (hip flexor) good to go for postseason

WALTHAM -- When asked about Kevin Garnetts hip flexor, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers paused.

Oh I thought you asked, was he hip? he said, adding a joke. I was going to say no to that, would be my answer.

Turns out Rivers has better reviews on Garnetts health than his fashion sense.

Garnett missed Tuesdays game against the Miami Heat with a hip flexor. He returned on Thursday against the Milwaukee Bucks, posting four points, three assists, two rebounds, and a steal in 11 minutes.Rivers expects Garnett to be able to play through the injury in the postseason.

I think hes good, said Rivers. The hip flexor is always going to be an issue with him. Once that thing starts, youve been around long enough, it never stops. It just kind of doesnt hurt as much. Thats a painful injury. But the good thing about that injury is you can keep playing. It just hurts.

Rivers will manage Garnetts minutes the same way he has all season. His 5-5-5 plan of five minutes in, five minutes out for Garnett has paid off.

Garnett, who turns 36 in May, is averaging 15.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists this season, his highest scoring average since the 2008-09 season and highest assist average since 2007-08.

He missed just six of 66 games this season, which includes games in which Rivers rested his starters down the stretch. Garnett sat out less than ten games this regular season for the first time during his career with the Celtics.

I think its been great, Rivers said of the strategy to manage Garnetts minutes. Honestly, Im kicking myself three years now, really. I wish I had done that with him at least a year earlier. I think its really helped him. He doesnt pace himself. He knows how hard he can go. You couldnt do that with more than one guy, youd be a revolving chair. But if you can designate a guy or maybe two a year to do that, thats something Ive really fallen in love with. I think its a good thing for the older guys.

Marcus Morris targeting Oct. 30 game vs. Spurs as date for Celtics debut

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Marcus Morris targeting Oct. 30 game vs. Spurs as date for Celtics debut

WALTHAM -- It appears Marcus Morris’ debut for the Celtics will be when they host the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 30.
 
The 6-foot-9 forward confirmed to reporters on Monday that, for now, that’s the target date.
 
Morris spent time after practice playing some one-one-one against rookie Jayson Tatum.
 
“I’m trying to push on it a little more,” he said. “Felt pretty good beating the rook’s ass one-on-one.”
 
The addition of Morris to the lineup can’t come soon enough for the Celtics (1-2).  They have already lost Gordon Hayward (ankle) for the season, and Marcus Smart (ankle) missed Friday’s win over Philadelphia. Smart said he would probably be in uniform for Tuesday’s game against the New York Knicks. 
 
Those injuries have forced the Celtics to dig deeper into their roster, resulting in several first-year players seeing action. 
 
Having a veteran like Morris on the floor would bode well for the Celts in their quest to remain among the better teams in the East this season. 
 
Morris, who went through the non-contact portion of practice on Monday, joined the Celtics on Oct. 5, shortly after he and his brother Markieff (who plays for Washington) were acquitted of assault charges involving an incident in Phoenix in January of 2015. He appeared in one preseason game, scoring seven points on 3-for-6 shooting from the field.

Coach Brad Stevens said Morris was having some knee discomfort when he showed up for training camp. That, combined with showing up late to training camp because of his court case in Phoenix, resulted in him not having the level of conditioning he’s used to at the start of training camp. 
 
“It’s not that I’m in bad shape,” he told NBC Sports Boston earlier. “It’s just that I’m not where I expect myself to be conditioning-wise, right now.”
 
Morris echoed similar sentiments on Monday. 
 
“I’m in great condition,” he said. “I just want to be a little better. My conditioning has never been the problem. It’s the soreness in my [left] knee. It’s gotten a lot better over the past 10 days, so I feel I can play now. But be cautious because it’s a long season.”
 
Morris was acquired in the summer by Boston from Detroit, in exchange for Avery Bradley. The move was done to not only ensure there was enough salary cap space to sign then-free agent Gordon Hayward, but also for the Celtics to add a versatile player who can play both forward positions.