So before the team would venture off into the abyss that we know of as All-Star weekend, Garnett held an impromptu team meeting with a clear and very succinct Garnett-esque message.
\If you're not ready to step your game up the second half of the season, step aside and don't come back because he doesn't want you and the Celtics don't need you.
Keyon Dooling, who like a number of Celtics has missed games due to injuries, felt Garnett's message could not have come at a better time.
The Celtics (15-17) had lost their fifth straight, and Garnett could sense that coddling – not exactly a strength of his, anyway – was not needed.
He spoke the way he plays; in a strong, but firm and consistent tone.
"We understand what's at stake," Dooling told CSNNE.com. "We have to start, here and now."
Dooling seemed especially impressed by KG's words. And there's no indication that he was talking to anyone in particular, because I don't think that's KG's style. The message he sent is clear.
Now let's see how the guys respond tomorrow night. Tomorrow will be the exact mid-point of the Celtics schedule, and it doesn't get any easier for the C's. They have played 13 road games as compared to 19 at home… so that has to balance out. And they still haven't played their back-to-back-to-back.
If the Celtics are going to step up and play well, they're going to have to do it in the face of a much tougher schedule than before. We're about to find out a lot about this team.
On Page 2: Jermaine is going to see a specialist
Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal, who aggravated a left wrist injury last Monday in Dallas, remained in Boston on Monday while the rest of his teammates trekked to Cleveland in advance of opening the second half of the 2011-12 season Tuesday night against the Cavaliers.
O'Neal is expected to meet with team physical Dr. Brian McKeon and a hand specialist on Tuesday, according to the team.
I know I bust Jermaine O'Neal's balls a lot, but it's not his fault. I know he doesn't WANT to be seing specialists and getting hurt every time the wind blows. His body is just won't let him play.
So rather than use this space to make the obligatory cracks about fragility, I'm going to say thanks to Jermaine for trying to find ways to stay on the court and help this team. He truly wants to be the guy we all want him to be. He's second in the league in charges drawn and 10th in blocked shots… so it's not like he does nothing.
But that's life. Your body eventually says "ah, screw it, I'm not doing this anymore" and you're done as an athlete. Jermaine probably should have listened a couple of years ago, but Danny decided to give him a bunch of money to keep going. Now he's trying to earn it by seeing whatever specialists he can to keep him on the floor.
Good luck, Jermaine. You're fighting a losing battle there… I just hope you can hold on long enough to make some kind of impact for us for a few more months.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Time to get serious | Hollinger: The East playoff race | Should C's consider starting lineup swap? | CSNNE: Trade deadline coming into view | WEEI: Post All Star power rankings | Herald: C's need more than players | Midseason report card | Globe: Celtics try to get back into the mix