Rivers: Garnett doubtful for Wednesday's game


Rivers: Garnett doubtful for Wednesday's game

By A. Sherrod Blakely

WALTHAM It looks like the long-awaited return of Kevin Garnett may not be as soon as the Boston Celtics thought.

Wednesday's game against the Sacramento Kings would be within the two-week time frame since he suffered the injury, but coach Doc Rivers said he doubts Garnett will play.

"He's just not ready yet," Rivers said. "He's close, very close."

Such words ring hollow with Celtics fans, remembering all too well similar proclamations made a couple years ago when Garnett was battling a right knee injury that kept him out longer than anyone anticipated.

He ultimately wound up missing 25 games that season, and the entire playoffs.

Not only is he now dealing with a different injury, but the Celtics' approach has changed as well.

While there is concern, it doesn't appear to be the level that we're accustomed to seeing when a star player gets hurt.

Shortly after the injury, an X-ray was taken and it showed no fractured bones. He was later given an MRI, and those results didn't do anything to change their diagnosis that two weeks off should be good enough to help some of that soreness heal.

While Garnett did participate in some of the skeleton offensive sets, he was not on the floor when the Celtics went live.

During that time, he was riding a treadmill in addition to getting in some additional work on the weight room.

Rivers reiterated that he likes what he sees from Garnett thus far.

But not enough to play him, apparently.

"He could play tomorrow," Rivers said. "I don't think he will, but there's a chance."

Rivers had similar doubts earlier this month about Rajon Rondo.

Rondo had missed seven games with a left ankle sprain, and Rivers was expecting him to miss an eighth at Toronto on Jan. 2. Before the game, Rivers said he didn't plan on playing him. But conversations between Rivers, Rondo and team trainer Ed Lacerte, convinced Rivers to give Rondo a shot at playing. The Celtics won with Rondo playing nearly 40 minutes.

No Kevin Garnett means we'll see more of Glen Davis in the starting lineup.

Davis has taken his collective bumps and bruises of late for shooting more than any other Celtic.

Rivers has talked about cutting Davis' minutes back some, and doing so by playing a smaller lineup that included either Marquis Daniels or Nate Robinson.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate


BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions on the Celtics getting their first win of the season and a comparison between Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the 4th quarter.

7:17 - Phil Perry joins BST to break down the tale of the tape between the Falcons and the Patriots as he breaks down the quarterbacks, offense, defense, coaching, and intangibles between the two teams.

11:57 - Our crew on BST discuss number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and number 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum going up against each other and debate who seems like the better pick so far. 

16:35 - In this segment of Irrelevant Questions, Tom Curran interviews Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett as he asks him a bunch of random questions. 


Larkin rises to occasion, says he's ready when Celtics call his number

Larkin rises to occasion, says he's ready when Celtics call his number

PHILADELPHIA – Near the end of a preseason game against Charlotte, Boston Celtics guard Shane Larkin was killin’ the Hornets with pick-and-roll action.

It was a preseason game that at the time, didn’t seem to have much value other than to get some of the end-of-the-bench guys a little run up and down the court.

But as it turned out, Larkin's play in that game was one of those things head coach Brad Stevens tucked away, knowing at some point he would count on Larkin to provide similar play in a regular season game.


Well, that game was Friday night at Philadelphia, a game in which several players for Boston stepped their games up in helping the Celtics get their first win of the season, 102-92.

But you would be hard-pressed to find a bigger game-changer for the Celtics in this game, than Larkin.

He finished with 10 points off the bench, eight of which came in the decisive fourth quarter when the Celtics rallied from five-down to get a hard-fought, much-needed victory.

“You have to always be ready for your name to be called, especially when you have injuries,” Larkin said. “You never know whose night it’s gonna be.”

Boston was playing without Marcus Smart who suffered a left ankle sprain in their 108-100 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday. Smart was in the starting lineup having replaced Gordon Hayward who underwent left ankle surgery and is expected to be out for the remainder of this season.

“When coach (Stevens) called my name, I had to go out there and be aggressive, play my game,” Larkin said. “And it worked in our favor.”

And while Stevens had watched Larkin play prior to the Celtics signing him this summer, it was a preseason game against Charlotte that really convinced him that the 5-foot-11 guard could help when called upon.

“You’re always watching,” Stevens said. “And if you remember that exhibition game, he finished out that Charlotte game, just running simple spread pick-and-rolls. He’s such a handful with his speed and quickness, and he allows other guys to play off of him. He’s a small guy, but he makes up for it with his speed and skill.”

Al Horford benefited more than any other Celtic with Larkin’s pick-and-roll play which factored into Horford scoring nine of his 17 points in the fourth.

“Shane is a player who understands the game and for us, it was me trying to set a good screen for him and having him make a play,” Horford said. “He just made the right reads, when to shoot it, when to pass it. He just looked very comfortable in that position.”

And to think that Larkin’s big game came about in part because of how well he performed in a preseason matchup against the Hornets.

“I did not know it was that specific game,” Larkin said. “But whenever I step on the court I try to do my best. That’s offensively, defensively, and do what the team needs me to do.

Larkin added, “Whenever my number is called, if he (Stevens) calls it again, I hope he does. I’ll be ready to go out there and do it again.”