"[Garnett is] better than he was the last two years," admitted Rivers. "Health-wise, I think he's pretty much back to where he was three years ago [during the 2008 championships season]. In a lot of ways, he may be better with the team. Now the team is better and that makes him even better.
"He sees the floor, he's a point guard on defense. He sees coverages, smells this out. He's just good."
What better Christmas gift can we give to you guys than Doc saying KG is better right now than he's been in the past two years? That's better than anything I'm getting today.
Oh, and do you want a funky stocking stuffer? Here's a tidbit from the same link:
The Celtics, even with injuries, have used just five different starting lineups. The most common: Pierce-Garnett-Shaq-Allen-Rondo is 10-2 overall. With Jermaine O'Neal at starting center, the team is 4-1, while Nate Robinson is 5-1 in place of Rajon Rondo. Semih Erden is undefeated as a starter, with Boston winning four games with him in the starting lineup.
Semih Erden is the only player of all the starters to be undefeated. That's an interesting little oddity that you can whip out to impress your friends (as opposed to the little oddity that your weird uncle will try to whip out after a few too many spiked eggnogs).
Ok… one more Christmas gift from that same link before we move on: The rest of the Celtics schedule is the second-easiest in the league with a winning percentage of .469. The Bulls have the easiest remaining schedule. Lucky break, huh?
Guys are coming back healthy and the schedule is easing up. I like where this is going.
On Page 2, Ray Allen delivers a Christmas gift to our troops
While his teammates loosened up before practice, Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen was on the sideline, deeply engrossed in conversation.
He was on the phone delivering a last-minute Christmas present of sorts to thousands of military troops stationed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln which is in the waters of Southwest Asia.
The Celtics received an email earlier this week from Lt. Cmdr. Paul Brawley, Navy Community Outreach-Boston. That led to Allen delivering his Christmas Eve message to the troops via Lt. Cmdr. William Marks on the USS Abraham Lincoln.
Allen said his message to the troops was simple.
"We just appreciated them fighting for our freedoms, to be in another country, being in the ocean fighting for our freedoms," Allen said. "We want to do whatever we can to provide entertainment for them while they're overseas serving us."
Having grown up in a military family – Allen has a number of family members who have served in the various armed forces, including his father, Walter Allen, who was a Master Sgt. in the Air Force – Allen admits he has a soft spot for the military.
"It means a great deal to me knowing … we're over here complaining about playing on Christmas day. We're home, basically on American soil, able to be in close proximity to our families," Allen said. "These guys probably haven't seen their families, some years, months, whatever it may be … it always gives me proper perspective. We get to play this game that we love; we get to play it every single day. There are so many people who are fighting for our freedom who are away from their family, and that's the sacrifice that they make. All this talk about playing on Christmas day, it's pebbles compared to what our soldiers are dealing with."
What can we say about Ray? The guy is just awesome. So few people have perspective… I'm glad Ray sees it.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Related links: Herald: No problems after talk with troops
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Merry Christmas, baby | Erden (stomach bug) sits out practice | Herald: Doc Rivers: Slow down on Rajon Rondo's return date | Abracadabra, Magic alter look to match Celtics | Globe: Not known yet if trades did trick for Magic | O'Neals ready to join forces against Magic | Magic thumbnails | Marquis Daniels seeks respect as a rap artist | CSNNE: C's on the verge of gaining, losing big man | Daniels happy to be home for the holidays