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.
“The difference between 2009 and today is Kevin needed surgery in 2009. It was inevitable,” Ainge said. “But the thought was that if he gets surgery, he’s done for the year, or can he play until the end of the year and then get surgery at the end of the year? And there was hope that that could happen, that he would be able to play. And it was just inevitable surgery. And he wasn’t going to damage it anymore, it was a chip or a fragment behind his knee that needed to be removed.
“And so right now that’s not the case with KG. I don’t think that surgery is inevitable or we need to get through the year and he’s going to go in for surgery right after the year. That’s the difference between (2009) and now. He has inflammation in the foot. There’s soreness, there was swelling — the swelling is going down — and we think two weeks is a more than sufficient time for that to heal and we just want him fresh and ready to go.”
Well… I suppose that makes me feel a little bit better, but that memory of 2009 is so strong, and so bitter, that I just can’t bring myself to fully accept that KG will be back when the two weeks are up.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure he will… and I’m almost positive he’ll be fine after just getting a caution-fueled vacation. But nothing will change the “two to three week” prognosis in 2009 that became a season ending injury. This quote was from Doc in 2009:
I don’t think it’s a major thing at all, but we’re just going to be cautious . . .
“Listen, we have a long season and I’m not taking a risk putting him on the floor. We would have loved to have him, obviously. It probably would have made a difference. Unless he’s close to 100 percent, I’d rather have him healthy for the playoffs.”
Again… both of those quotes were from 2009. Not yesterday or last week… even though I could have said they were and no one would have questioned it (probably not even Doc).
But I’ll try to relax about it. I swear, I’m being calm. But if Ainge or Doc are wondering why 2009 keeps coming up… well… that’s why.
I really don’t know what I’m so worried about, though… because we’ve got SHAVLIK RANDOLPH!
Here’s Boston’s glaring problem (or at least one of them): Garnett is the team’s only consistent rebounder since rookie Jared Sullinger was lost for the season. The Celtics’ remaining rotation-caliber bigs — Green, Wilcox and Brandon Bass — are all below-average on the glass despite their above-average size and athleticism.
Enter Randolph. In six appearances, he’s grabbed 3.8 rebounds per game — and that’s in a mere 9.8 minutes per contest (he hasn’t played more than nine minutes in any of his past three outings). Randolph has posted obscene rebound rates, particularly over those three games without Garnett, grabbing 34.8 percent of all available defensive rebounds and 27 percent of total rebound opportunities in that span.
Sure, it’s a small sample size, but consider this: In the same three-game stretch, the next-best numbers on the team are from swingman Paul Pierce (20.8 percent on defensive glass; 12.6 overall). Wilcox (17.1 defensive, 11.4 overall), Green (17.6, 10.4) and Bass (15.8, 10.8) aren’t even close to Randolph’s levels.
I love Doc, but he has trust issues that need to be worked out… and it’s time to trust Shiv (yes, I’m still going with that nickname) for more than 10 minutes a game. I know Doc’s got glowing things to say about him, but will that translate into more actual minutes?
There are only 10 regular season games left. I know we’re in a dog fight to stay out of 8th (I think… I assume Doc really does want to avoid Miami)… but it’s time to Free Shavlik and see if the numbers can sustain themselves over more playing time.
Related links: WEEI: Ainge talks about win over Cavs, KG’s health, and “paying the price”
The rest of the links:
Globe: New look Celtics changing lineups often | CSNNE: Expect Doc’s lineup shuffle to continue | Bass quietly, effectively going about his game | Crawford plays high energy in low tops | ESPN Boston: Ainge quick hits: Little room for error | WEEI: Ainge: Embarrassing for LeBron to complain about refs | MWDN: Bradley says the play is the thing