By A. Sherrod Blakely
BOSTON As expected, Kevin Garnett will suit up for the Boston Celtics tonight against the Orlando Magic.
Garnett, out since suffering a muscle strain ins lower right leg, missed nine games for the Celtics with the injury.
While the Celtics will certainly monitor Garnett's minutes, C's coach Doc Rivers said that there are no limitations as far as how much Garnett will play tonight.
His return does not come as a surprise to Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, whose game plan for tonight included Garnett starting.
"They have more size when he's there," Van Gundy said. "He's a great defender, anyway. And then he brings a lot of size to the table. They're a lot bigger. Kevin's length is huge for them defensively."
Magic forward Brandon Bass, who will begin tonight's game matched up against Garnett, doesn't believe the long layoff will impact Garnett's game.
"He's a great player," Bass told CSNNE.com. "It doesn't' matter how long he's out. Kevin Garnett is always going to be a tough challenge for you."
Rivers also confirmed that the Celtics will also have Shaquille O'Neal available tonight. He suffered an adductor strain injury and did not practice on Sunday.
A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn
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.