KG Deja Vu


KG Deja Vu

By Rich Levine

I was out picking up dinner last Wednesday when Kevin Garnett strained a muscle in his lower right leg.

So as KG knelt over halfcourt, tapping out on Tayshaun Princes sneaker, my DVR was frozen in time at the five-minute mark of the first quarter.

I was waiting at the restaurant when the first text came in:

This injury looks bad.

First of all, I knew if Ed Lacerte was texting me during a game, it must be serious.

OK, it was friend Jay. And I had no clue what he was talking about.

What injury?

KG. Went up for a dunk. Non-contact. Looks like his knee.

Real bad?

I thought so. They just confirmed on TV that its his knee.

Sometime during this conversation, another text comes in,

I will die.

It was my friend Nick.

KG? I wrote. Did it look THAT bad?

Looked like the exact same thing that happened last time.


I walked into the apartment, pushed play and just watched. The Celtics were running up and down the court like it was any other night, but I knew what they didnt everything was about to change. I spent most of those next few minutes just focused on KG, looking for signs of injury (he seemed fine) and waiting for the bomb to drop.

It was really pretty depressing. Not only because I care about the fate of the Celtics, but also because Garnett had quietly become one of the better stories of the NBA season. It was impossible not to marvel at the level hed worked himself back up to since struggling for most of last year. And the knowledge that his comeback was presumably about to derail was awful.

Anyway, I saw the injury and it was pretty much what I expected. It was exactly how theyd described it. It was just like Utah. He went up for the dunk, something clicked in the air, and he landed in a ton of pain. Afterwards, he wasnt even just limping on the same leg; it was the same limp with the same mannerisms and weight distribution.

Land on left leg, hops three times. Try to walk, hop three times. Try to walk.

His face was pained. It wasnt just physical pain, though. He looked like a guy who knew that something was wrong. Or at least thats how a lot of people perceived it. KG looked like Wes Welker on the sidelines last January in Houston. He looked halfway terrifiedhalfway devastated.

Honestly, who knows with KG? Hes obviously a supremely intense and emotional guy. And he was especially hyped on Wednesday with all the Charlie Villanueva stuff. So maybe he was just fired up, or lost in the moment, and overreacted a little.

Either way, his actions didnt leave you optimistic.

By the time my DVR caught up with the world, KG had already blown up Twitter. No one knew for sure what had happened, but the media on the scene were already widely reporting that it was his knee. At one point, you could even see Ed Lacerte inspecting the knee on the bench. It could have very well just been standard procedure. Maybe he was just trying to rule it out. Maybe KG had an itch. But in that one second, he was looking at the knee, the cameras picked it up and it was another reason to think the worst, which everyone did.

Then came the unexpected good news. And in a hurry.

Basically, as soon as the game ended, there was only positive (or at least relatively positive) information coming from the Celtics. Teammates said they didnt think it was bad. Doc said that it was a muscle in his calf muscle, not the knee. There were KG sightings on the team bus. The Cs tweeted out the official breakdown:

Muscle injury to the outside of his right leg, below the knee and above the ankle. He is scheduled for an MRI tomorrow.

Next came word from the team that the MRI wasnt even a necessity; that it was basically just something they were doing to give Kevin some peace of mind. Of the injury, Doc said, "It was pretty clear what it was. Honestly, Eddie told me at halftime. Once he told me Garnett would be all right, I was gone."

So they waited for the results of the MRI, and then announced that KG had a strained muscle in his right calf area (more specifically, the area right below the knee) and will be out for 2-3 weeks.

That brings us to now four days after the announcement and the question of the hour:

When do you think youll see him again?

So far, I get the sense that a lot of people breathed a huge sigh of relief after the Celtics prognosis. It feel like the majority are comfortable with the 2-3 weeks (especially relative to an entire season), and feel that the calf should heel, the knee will be fine and we'll see him in the middle of January. They think the Celtics just dodged a huge bullet. And thats fine.

But I think the bullet nicked them. And we have to wait and see what happens next.

Thats not to say I think the Celtics are lying. It seems like you cant have questions about KG's leg without someone inferring that you think the team is intentionally giving out false information. I personally dont think they are.

In fact, in spite of all the craziness of the 2009 season, I dont think they lied then either. I think they genuinely believed all along that Garnett would improve enough to play first, by mid-March, and then by the playoffs. No one realized how bad the bone spurs were and how much they were affecting his recovery.

Maybe they kept things a little more secretive when it came time for the actual surgery. There are still certain things from the procedure that are unclear. But when it came to the last few months of the lost season, I think the Celtics were just trying to find away to get KG back on the court, and were maybe even a little too honest.

So, when I look at this story, I'm not skeptical about lies. Im just concerned that, so far, 2011 truth is so similar to 2009.

This a story from the Seattle Times after Garnetts first injury:

PHOENIX Boston Celtics officials say forward Kevin Garnett will miss from two to three weeks because of a strained muscle behind his knee.Garnett returned Friday to Boston after injuring the knee on the team's West trip. Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said Saturday that team doctor Brian McKeon diagnosed the muscle strain after tests and an MRI.Garnett injured his knee while going up for a lob pass from Paul Pierce late in the first half of Boston's 90-85 loss to the Utah Jazz on Thursday. Garnett landed gingerly and immediately motioned to the bench for a substitute.

This is an injury that looked the same. And now its being diagnosed almost the same at least at this stage. And while I know there are other factors at play, Im at least going to make this injury show me that its different before I officially breathe that sigh of relief.

Am I encouraged that hes not out for the season? Yes, of course. But truthfully, I never really worried about that. I never thought he tore his ACL, or broke a bone, or anything else that have would immediately shelve him for the year.

Instead, from the moment I got those texts, I thought: Oh no, here we go again. I think a lot of us did. And I havent had any reason to stop. When that time comes I'll gladly exhale, but in the meantime it'll be three weeks of cautious nose breathing.

Rich Levine's column runs each Monday, Wednesday and Friday on CSNNE.com. Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrlevine33

Ray Allen tells court he was 'catfished'


Ray Allen tells court he was 'catfished'

ORLANDO, Fla. — Retired NBA star Ray Allen said he is a victim of “catfishing,” and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online.

Allen filed an emergency motion in Orange County, Florida, on Tuesday, one day after Bryant Coleman told the court he is being stalked by the 10-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion.

Allen said Coleman is the one who is stalking.

“Coleman pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in Ray Allen,” read the motion filed on Allen’s behalf. “Ray believed he was speaking with these women and communicated with them.”

Attorney David Oscar Markus released a statement saying Allen took legal action in an effort to put an end to threats against him and his family, and that Allen was the victim “of an online scheme to extract money and embarrass him by someone who appears to be troubled.”

In the filing, Allen said Coleman threatened to reveal details of their conversations, and that the sides eventually struck a deal to keep everything private. Allen said that deal has been violated and that Coleman has continued to harass him and his family through several social-media accounts.

“He posted about Ray’s wife, Ray’s children, Ray’s dog, Ray’s homes, Ray’s wife’s restaurant, and numerous other personal items,” read the motion. “Coleman not only posted about these things, he would actually post while physically located inside Ray’s wife’s restaurant in Orlando. And he would make sure they knew it, tagging Ray and his wife on those posts.”

Allen asked the court to stop Coleman from “cyber-stalking.” It was not clear if Coleman has an attorney, and a working phone number for him could not be found.

“Ray regrets ever engaging with this person online and is thankful they never met in person,” Markus said. “This experience has negatively impacted Ray, and he hopes that others might use his mistake to learn the dangers of communicating online with strangers.”

Allen is the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made. He starred in college at UConn and won championships with the Celtics in 2008 and Miami in 2013, the second title coming after he made one of the most dramatic shots in playoff history — a game-tying 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in regulation of Game 6 of The Finals against San Antonio, a game that the Heat would win in overtime to extend the series to a seventh game.

Allen also played for Milwaukee and Seattle, and last appeared in the league in 2014. He and his family have lived in the Miami area since.

© 2017 by The Associated Press 

Blakely's takeaways: Stevens downplays Celtics' streak

Blakely's takeaways: Stevens downplays Celtics' streak

Brad Stevens likes the fact that the Celtics have shown an unusually strong resolve this season by consistently finding ways to win on nights when they don’t play their best.
It’s to the point now where fans, as well as the players, feel no deficit is too steep to overcome.


That said, there’s a level of expectations on this team now that you would think would bring about a heightened level of pressure, right?
They’ve won 16 in a row, the fourth-longest winning streak in franchise history.
Not according to Stevens.
“Coaching basketball is not pressure,” Stevens told reporters after Monday night’s win. “Playing basketball is not real pressure. Sometimes we overdo this stuff. We’re just trying to prepare well for the next game. That’s all we’ve done, that’s all we’ll continue to do. The streak doesn’t mean anything to me; maybe it does to the guys in the room. But it’s about finding ways to get better and finding ways to get the job done.”
Here are five other takeaways from the 110-102 overtime win at Dallas that extended Boston’s winning streak to 16:

There may not be a player on this team – maybe in the NBA – that’s more difficult to get a read on, than Marcus Smart. He has been a historically bad shooter throughout his career in Boston. And yet when you look at their 16-game winning streak, he’s one of the main reasons for it. He plays with an edge; he’s gritty and defends at a level that few can match. He makes big plays in big moments. But he's having his worst season ever shooting the ball yet his impact when he’s on the floor has never been greater. So, what do you do if you’re Stevens? You keep playing him. Because as much as his poor shooting hurts the team’s overall scoring, he makes so many clutch plays whether it’s facilitating, defending or – wait for it – making shots. He adds tremendous value to winning, even if his shooting numbers might suggest otherwise.

When you’re getting “M-V-P! M-V-P!” chants on the road, you know you’re ballin’ hard. Kyrie Irving wowed the Dallas crowd with 47 points, 10 of which came in overtime as Boston rallied after facing a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter. If the numbers continue to climb along with the win total, Irving will continue to cement himself as a top-five MVP candidate. 

One of the few constants in Boston’s string of success has been their rebounding. Against the Mavericks, the Celtics once again won the battle on the boards, 53-45. And it hasn’t been one or two players, either. Against Dallas, the Celtics had five players grab at least four rebounds with no one securing more than nine. That kind of rebounding balance makes Boston an extremely difficult team to out-work on the glass.

The scoring punch we’ve come to expect lately from Horford just wasn’t there against Dallas. Instead, he seemed more consumed with getting others (mainly Irving) involved offensively. He missed four of his five shots from the field and scored just three points. But he almost had a double-double in rebounds (eight) and assists (seven) along with blocking a couple of shots. And as always, his plus/minus was among the best on the team with the Celtics being +7 when he was on the floor.

While Irving was delivering one big shot after another down the stretch, one of his running partners in late-game situations this season has been Jayson Tatum. He ranks among the league’s best shooters in the fourth quarter and Monday’s victory only solidified his status. Against the Mavericks, Tatum had six points and was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field. According to NBA.com/stats, Tatum is shooting 64.1 percent in the fourth quarter, which ranks eighth in the NBA among players who take at least two field goal attempts per game in the fourth. Right ahead of him is teammate Marcus Morris (65 percent).