Celtics

Emotional night for KG, McHale

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Emotional night for KG, McHale

HOUSTON As the final seconds ticked away in Boston's 101-89 loss to Houston on Friday, Doc Rivers made his way towards Rockets head coach and former Celtic Kevin McHale.

The two embraced.

A similar scene played out moments later between McHale, whose 23-year-old daughter Sasha passed away last month, and Courtney Lee who played for McHale in Houston last season.

In between those two moments, there was McHale embracing Kevin Garnett who came into the league in Minnesota when McHale was part of the Minnesota Timberwolves' brain trust.

The embrace was long, the kind of hug you give an old friend who is hurting and there's nothing you can do to ease the pain other than to let him know you care.

McHale won the game, but he was fighting a losing battle with his emotions as the two old friends continued their embrace, each nodding to the other as words were spoken that only those two men can fully understand and appreciate.

Not surprisingly, McHale was asked about that moment during his post-game press conference.

"KG and I, we go way back," said McHale, who pulled the trigger on the multi-player deal that sent Garnett to Boston in 2007. "There will always be a special place in my heart for Kevin. We spent a ton of time together when he was a young guy. It was very nice."

Seeing McHale for the first time since the passing of McHale's daughter made the day that much rougher for Garnett emotionally.

Like most parents throughout this nation, Garnett was also deeply saddened by the deaths of nearly two dozen school-age children in Newtown, Conn. Friday morning when an armed man opened fire in the school and reportedly killed 27 people - most of them children.

"I'm all over the place. Today has been a crazy day," Garnett said. "I just want to say my condolences go out to the families in Connecticut. Anybody that has kids, niece, any kind of siblings, any kind of someone they love, it's just been a tough day. I just want to get it off my chest and say my condolences to all the parents out there. I seen Kevin (McHale) and had an emotional moment with him. So it's been an emotional roller coaster today."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics back in win column

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics back in win column

0:41 - The Celtics returned to their winning ways with a 118-103 victory over the Orlando Magic. Tom Giles, Phil Perry and Rob “Hardy” Poole break down the win.

6:58 - Tom Giles and Hardy discuss the Bruins’ four-game winning streak and how the success of Anton Khudobin has helped keep the team afloat.

11:39 - Is the Patriots' Week 12 matchup with the Dolphins a trap game? Tom Giles, Phil Perry and Hardy discuss where Miami ranks among NFL teams and how the Patriots should approach the game.

17:07 - With Black Friday upon us, the Boston Sports Tonight crew discusses what big-ticket item they would choose to buy for any Boston sports team. 

 

Morris out, Brown questionable for Pacers game Saturday

Morris out, Brown questionable for Pacers game Saturday

BOSTON – Boston made strengthening their depth at the wing position a priority during the offseason.

Well, that depth will be put to the test with the possibility of at least one and maybe two of their top wing players being out for Saturday’s game at Indiana.

Shortly after Boston’s 118-103 win over Orlando on Friday night, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens announced that Marcus Morris (left knee) would not travel with the team for Saturday’s game against the Pacers.

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Also, Jaylen Brown will be attending the funeral of his best friend (Trevin Steede) in Georgia on Saturday and isn’t sure if he’ll be back with the team in time for Saturday’s game.

“My intention is to make it back. If I can, I’ll definitely be playing,” Brown said. “But we’ll see.”

The absence of Brown would be a huge blow for the Celtics.

Boston only returned four players from last season’s team, none of whom have improved their overall game as much as Brown did during the offseason.

He came into the season focused on being a lock-down defender.

But Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury was a game-changer for all the Celtics, including Brown.

Not only would Brown be charged with being an elite defender, but Boston now needed the second-year wing player to become more of a scoring threat.

And to Brown’s credit, he has risen to the challenge.

In 20 games (all starts) this season, Brown has averaged 15.9 points per game which is second on the team to Kyrie Irving (22.9). In addition, Brown’s defense has been among the keys to Boston’s 17-3 start which is the best record in the NBA thus far this season.

His defensive rating of 95.0 is fifth among players to appear in at least 10 games this season, and tops among all second-year players. And of the four players ahead of him, two – Aron Baynes and Marcus Smart – are teammates.

But just like the Celtics gave Isaiah Thomas all the time he needed in dealing with the death of his sister right before the playoffs last season, a similar approach has been taken with Brown which he is admittedly appreciative of the organization for doing.

“Brad (Stevens) has been great in this process,” Brown said. “Just somebody to talk to, allowing me to deal with it in the best way our family and their family feels we can deal with it. He’s been great; we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I can make it to Indiana; if not, I just have to re-group with my family and I’ll see you guys next game (against Detroit on Monday).”

While there's a chance that Brown will play against Indiana, the same can not be said for Morris who is definitely out.

Morris, who missed the first eight games of the season with left knee soreness, has been on a minutes restriction all season in addition to not being allowed to play in back-to-back games.

Following Friday’s game, Morris said the knee feels good but he understands the need to be cautious.

“It’s frustrating,” said Morris who acknowledged the decision was made by the coaching and medical staff. “I’m a competitor, so I want to be out there.”

He added, “Like I said, at this point I pretty much don’t have control over it when I’m playing. It’s a long season. I just want to be ready for June.”

With Morris out and Brown potentially out as well, the Celtics will be extremely thin and inexperienced at the wing position. Look for Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes to be in the starting lineup if Brown is out along with Morris.

Also, Stevens will likely use Terry Rozier and first-year forward Semi Ojeleye more in addition to increased spot-duty for another rookie, Abdel Nader. On Friday, Rozier had a career-high 23 points while Ojeleye and Nader had seven and three points, respectively.

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