Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“I thought it was his knee the way he did it, a knee or Achilles,” Rivers said. “Injuries when no one’s around, to me, are always the severe ones, and there was no one around him. So that was the first thing. I thought it was a bad one. Let’s just hope not. I don’t think it is. But we’ll find out later.”
Just before the Celtics departed the Palace for the charter home, team spokesman Jeff Twiss confirmed that Garnett will have an MRI today and that the injury is “muscular in nature.”
“The doctor checked the knee joint stability, lateral and all that, and that came away good,” Twiss said. “So that’s good.”
We got some bits of good news last night before we went to bed. And now, having slept on it, we can take a look at what's really going on here. The Celtics sent out a cryptic final update before leaving for Boston last night.
So that falls in line with the calf injury we've been hearing about. We could be looking at anything from a strain to a tear… with the latter obviously being the most serious. But looking at it realistically… if it WAS a tear, he probably wouldn't have been walking around without a very noticeable limp. Of course, I'm just guessing here, but I do know from personal experience that you don't walk even close to normally with a torn muscle in your leg.
Maybe KG is superhuman and he can put on a show for the cameras. Or maybe it's just a strain. That can also cost him about a month… maybe more… if it's a bad one. But it's still something that he can recover from.
Taking a look at the diagram (yes, I'm actually doing this), the soleus muscle is the muscle that runs on the outside of the calf and around to the front. It SEEMS to be the area the team was working on when he came out. If it's NOT a tear (we'll find out today) then this is sounding more and more like a grade 2 strain. If that's indeed what it is, KG will be back in a month
Of course, I'm JUST GUESSING here. This is what you do when you don't know what's happening and you try to piece together things from tweets and 10 second sound bites. KG's getting the MRI today, so we'll see how close we are to being right.
Related links: Globe: Painful loss | ESPN Boston: Rapid Reaction: KG & Celtics loss | Rivers: KG "Likely to miss games" | WEEI: The knee, or not the knee is the Kevin Garnett question | CSNNE: Dr. M: Garnett's injury could be a ligament strain | TrueHoop: Celtics feel pain of Garnett loss
On Page 2: Guys vow to step up
Garnett's latest injury doesn't appear to be as severe, but Davis knows he has to be ready to step his game up now.
"It helps because I know what to expect," Davis said. "I know what I can do; I know what my limitations are. I know what the team needs me to do out there. I'm not Kevin, but at the same time, I do bring something to the table."
During the 2008-09 regular season, Davis averaged 12.6 points and 5.6 rebounds as a starter. He was even better in the playoffs, averaging 15.8 points and 5.6 rebounds.
"I'm going to step my game up as much as possible for our team," Davis said. "This ain't nothing I'm not used to. I've been in this situation before, and I've done a good job at it."
[...] The way O'Neal sees it, him playing more is simply a way of re-paying Garnett for what he did during all those games O'Neal missed because of a sore left knee.
"When this team was put together, I'm sure that was something of the thought process," Jermaine O'Neal said. "It's a long 82-game season. Guys are going to go down. We have to be willing to step our game up when guys do go down. It's been a rough season for our team so far, and still we have one of the better records in the league. We just have to pick up the pace, and also be willing to extend ourselves that much more to pick up the void that probably will be left if he's not able to come back soon."
Losing KG for any amount of time hurts… that's obvious. Look for Jermaine to make his way back into the starting lineup with Baby still filling the role of 6th man that comes in about 6 minutes into the first quarter. Semih Erden will have to recover from that groin injury, flu and various other ailments pretty quickly to help fill the void and keep Jermaine's minutes in check.
Jermaine is still a step slow on the offense due to all the time off… and he's also a step slow in general for the same reason. And while Jermaine will be able to do a decent job defensively, no one can do what KG does. No one can quarterback the defense like KG.
And this is a tough month for this to happen. The C's have four back-to-backs this month and 16 games in 31 days. That's not that much down time. So the combination of Jermaine O'Neal, Glen Davis, Shaq and Semih are going to have to hold down the fort for a little while. One thing we know, the C's will not rush KG back. He's not playing until he's 100% ready to go.
The rest of the links:
Globe: Villanueva backs up his comments | Herald: Jermaine O'Neal fights off brawl recall | ESPN Boston: First impressions | WEEI: Celtics lose Garnett, fall to Pistons | CSNNE: Villanueva's respect for Garnett limited | Celtics Blog: Don't panic (yet)