In the visiting locker room before Game 1 in Boston, the Bulls' Luol Deng mentioned something interesting that comes to mind now with word that Leon Powe is out for the year with a torn knee ligament.
The morning after John Salmons tweaked his groin in late March, Deng rushed to the practice court to test the stress fracture in his leg to see if there was any chance of an accelerated comeback. With the Bulls in a tight playoff race, Deng felt an extra sense of urgency to get back on the court and "give it a go," he said.
"The next day," Deng added, "I had a huge setback."
So the strategy didn't work. But that doesn't mean it can't be tried again. Not by Deng, but by one Kevin Garnett.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers has made it abundantly clear that Garnett will not play in these playoffs and that he's not entertaining any more questions about it. That doesn't mean the story -- or Garnett's desire to return -- will go away.
Garnett's every move is under close scrutiny, as evidenced by this story Sunday in the Boston Herald describing a surprise appearance by Garnett on the Celtics' practice court in workout clothes. Clearly, Garnett is continuing to test his knee in an attempt -- however futile -- to rejoin his team and avert a first-round series loss to the Baby Bulls.
The Celtics can't do this without Garnett, much less without Garnett and Powe, a key reserve in their title run last year. So based on how Deng and other injured players are known to react when more teammates get injured, I'd say it's a pretty safe bet that Garnett will kick it up a notch in his effort to return.
It might not work, and Rivers might not want to talk about it. But that doesn't mean it can't be tried.