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.
Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers said it’s pretty simple when it comes to whether or not center Kevin Garnett will play in Monday’s showdown with the Miami Heat.
“If he’s healthy, he’ll play,” said Rivers. “And if he’s not, he will not.”
Garnett missed just his second game of the season on Saturday night due to a left adductor strain that limited his mobility in practice Friday and again at the team’s shootaround before a 105-88 triumph over the Charlotte Bobcats at TD Garden.
Now the question is whether Garnett will be ready for Monday’s game against the streaking Heat. Whether by design or happenstance, the Celtics’ locker room had every angle covered.
Paul Pierce is planning as if Garnett will not play. “We don’t expect him to be back, right now,” said Pierce. “And that’s the mindset we have to take. If he’s back, that’s just an added bonus for us to play Miami. Right now, as of today, we have to get it in our mind that this is the team that we’re going to see versus Miami, and we all gotta be ready to step up.”
Brandon Bass is planning as if Garnett will play. “He’ll be able to go,” said Bass. “We’re looking forward to him going, but if not, everybody’s got to step up.”
Taking a spot somewhere in between, Jason Terry offered: “I have no idea what [Garnett's] status will be, but whoever’s in a white and green uniform will be ready to go.”
ESPN Boston – Will KG Play vs Miami?
Prior to last night’s 105-88 revenge shellacking at the hands of the Charlotte Bobcats, head coach Doc Rivers announced that Kevin Garnett would not be playing. The first thought, naturally, was that it was Ticket’s turn to take the night off against Charlotte much like Paul Pierce did earlier in the week. Quickly though we all discovered that it was due to a strained adductor muscle, which is basically the inner thigh, or groin. For a basketball player this is not great, especially for such an active defender as KG is. It’s also key for lateral movement which affects defense as well as KG’s pick and pop jumper. It’s not the first injury KG has had here, but hopefully it’s more akin to the first injury he had as opposed to the second one.
Before the all-star break in 2008, KG suffered a strain abdominal muscle which shelved him for only a small period of time relatively speaking. In 2009 however, the mysterious knee injury that he suffered in Utah effectively ended their bid at a repeat attempt. The cloud of confusion that loomed over that injury from the Celtics, to the media to KG himself was a big bundle of a mess, so let’s hope this adductor strain is nothing more than a temporary issue that can be resolved with rest and treatment. Maybe some deer antler spray as well.
All kidding aside, it would be hugely disappointing if Ticket is forced to sit for tomorrow’s game against Miami, but it would be a lot worse if he forced himself to play at the long term expense of the playoffs. Doc knows his team and the C’s know that any viable run is impossible without a Ticket to admit them into the playoffs. Hey, at least they won’t have to face the Bobcats in the playoffs.
Related Links: Globe – Celtics’ Kevin Garnett sits out Charlotte game with injury | Herald – No KG in the lineup | CSNNE – Garnett day-to-day with adductor strain | MWDN – Garnett sits with injury | WEEI – Kevin Garnett out with left adductor strain
Morning Dump, Part Deuce: Where Jared Sullinger was destined to be a Celtic:
There’s a paradox inherent in Sullinger’s coming-of-age. Even as scouts and sportswriters were naming him a top prospect, critics questioned his potential. He was too big or too slow. He wouldn’t make it at the college level. He wasn’t quite tall enough for his position. Even Rivers, who had watched a teenage Sullinger play against Rivers’s son, Austin, in competitive amateur games, once thought of Sullinger as the “fat, slow guy.” “Jared’s been trying to prove himself throughout his entire life,” says Aaron Craft, a junior standout on the Ohio State team who played alongside Sullinger for years. “He wants to prove people wrong and wants to show people how successful he can be with what he’s been given.”
Now Sullinger finds himself tested once again, determined to come back strong and help lead the Celtics into the future. I ask Satch whether it was hard, as a parent, to watch his son suffer a season-ending injury, just as he was starting to get traction. “What we want and what happens are two different things,” he says. The fortunate thing, he says, was that the surgery came after the Celtics already knew he could play. “Fate,” he says, “is God’s way of staying anonymous.”
Boston Globe Sunday Magazine – Could Celtics rookie Jared Sullinger be the next Kevin Garnett?
While the title does its job of luring the reader hook, line, and sinker right into it, it’s doubtful that Sullinger is the next KG. That’s no knock on Sully who is already beloved amongst Celtics fans, including this one. But the quote above from his father Satch is a beautiful one. Sully just seems like he was destined to be a Celtic for several reasons, all of which can be read in the above piece. It’s a wonderful read about a really good kid.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – Boston Celtics’ Courtney Lee is dialed in on offense and defense | Randolph revels in his role | Globe – Shavlik Randolph makes positive impression but knows future with Celtics uncertain | UConn star Shabazz Napier mulls the NBA or a return trip to Storrs (Sunday Notes) | Celtics, Red Sox move toward digital ticketing | Herald – C’s exact payback, rip ‘Cats | Show them the money | Truth is, he does it all | Big East alums have their say | CSNNE – Rivers: Pierce always “underrated” | Randolph making most of limited minutes | Celtics-Bobcats review: Revenge is sweet | Rivers: Celtics played ‘great’ picking up for Garnett | Celtics give total team effort in win | WEEI – Green Night: With no Garnett, C’s find a way to blow out Bobcats | MWDN – No problem this time as balanced Celts cruise