Tag:Doc Rivers
Posted on: April 16, 2009 2:52 pm

Is Doc Rivers pulling our legs?

Well, the WEEI website has survived the onslaught of distraught Celtics fans who must've crashed it upon hearing the news about Kevin Garnett this morning. Here's a link to the entire transcript of Doc Rivers' interview with the station Thursday morning. Notice that Doc is adamant that he "thinks" Garnett is out for the entire postseason, but carefully couches his comments by saying, "I don't know that for a fact yet." Doc also sprinkles in other gems like the following:

"I mean, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t keep getting treatment and see where he can go. But I mean, there’s no way he can play."

Rivers said pretty much the same stuff after practice Thursday, according to a transcript provided by the Celtics' PR department.

"He’s out. I think he’s out," Rivers said. "It’s not official if he’s out for the entire playoffs, but it's official as far as I’m concerned. ... I think for the playoffs. Listen, he looked better last week than he did today. Obviously, out of left field, honestly, but it is what it is. He’s obviously done everything he could do to get back on the floor to the point where I was convinced he was going to be back on the floor. I was convinced there wasn’t going to be a minute limitation, but there’s no way, just no way.

“After two steps, it didn’t take long," Rivers said. "... I mean, he ran more than that but, it was just ridiculous to watch. I was surprised because I saw him run last week and he looked great. That just told you that this wasn’t heading the right direction. They’re still going to do treatment and they’re going to treat him and try to get him back as soon as they can get him back. Just common sense -- if it hasn’t healed yet, it’s not going to heal.”

Asked what the tipping point for him was, Rivers said, "Just couldn’t run. And you saw his face and you saw him trying to mask like there was no pain, which he couldn’t do that. Honestly, when we shut him down he was frustrated and upset about it but he stopped immediately. That told you all you need to know.”

Rivers also said Garnett will need surgery to remove a bone spur from his right knee that is unrelated to the tendon injury that is keeping him out of the playoffs. The Celtics have asked Garnett to sit on the bench for support during the first-round series against Chicago that begins Saturday in Boston. Garnett typically has not sat with his teammates when injured.

Now, I have to provide this caveat before I say any more: After the season, I will be attending rehab specially designed for those susceptible to conspiracy theories. But hear me out: Is there any chance Rivers is pulling our legs? (No pun intended.)

Garnett's injury has been odd from the beginning, and his aborted, four-game comeback was strange, too. After looking good in running drills only a week ago, it's weird again that the injury took such a dramatic turn for the worse two days before the playoffs. All I'm saying is this: Pay attention to how careful Rivers was with his words. And remember that the conference finals -- if the Celtics can somehow manage to make it there without Garnett -- don't start for another month.

Something tells me we haven't heard the end of this story yet.



Posted on: April 16, 2009 10:41 am

No KG, no Banner 18

You can feel the misery wafting down the I-95 corridor from Boston as we speak. If it's true that Kevin Garnett is out for the entire postseason, then the entire postseason is going to be decidedly shorter than anticipated for the Celtics.

Sure, they can beat the Bulls without Garnett. But then what? The defending champs will be a very vulnerable team heading into the Orlando series, that's what.

I expect the Celtics to rally around the rest of their core, which is still as good as anyone else in the East other than Orlando and Cleveland. I'd expect Paul Pierce to continue in the role of emotional leader and crunch-time assassin. I'd expect Ray Allen to raise his game and shoot the ball even better. I'd expect the role players -- Eddie House, Leon Powe, Big Baby Davis, etc. -- to respond to the challenge. This is a proud group that will fight as long and as hard as possible to extend the Celtics' playoff life in the hopes that KG can make it back.

But Doc Rivers' comments on WEEI in Boston Thursday were decidedly grim.

"We're going to have to move on without him," Rivers said after watching Garnett try and fail to complete a 20-minute team run.

The Celtics aren't commenting on Rivers' interview with the radio station, whose website, WEEI.com, is oddly offline at the moment. Maybe from all the suicidal Celtics fans trying to find Rivers' audio clip.



Posted on: March 31, 2009 6:08 pm

Tough luck for the Celts

I'm not the least bit surprised that Celtics coach Doc Rivers announced Tuesday that he'll probably shut down Kevin Garnett until the last two or three games of the regular season to give his ailing right knee a chance to heal.

It sure sounded like Rivers was leaning that way Friday night in Atlanta, when he wouldn't rule out another lengthy absence to get KG ready for the playoffs.

Surprised is one thing. Concerned is another. I don't know how the Celtics couldn't be gravely worried about their chances of a repeat with Garnett so slow to return.

It's not as though Rivers brought Garnett back after nearly a month and rode him like Secretariat. KG didn't log more than 18 minutes in any of the four games he played before Rivers sat him as a precuation Friday night against the Hawks. When last I saw Rivers, outside the visiting locker room at Philips Arena, he professed no concern about KG's aborted comeback.

"I'm just going to make sure I don't have concern by doing it this way," Rivers said.

Hey, Doc: I think the time to be concerned has come. The champs are officially in trouble.


Posted on: March 27, 2009 11:08 pm

Have the Celtics weathered the storm?

ATLANTA -- After a brutal stretch of eight games in 13 days -- six of them on the road -- have the Celtics survived the brunt of their injury woes? Or is it just getting started again?

The Celtics' nightmare stretch -- they were 5-3, including Friday night's 99-93 victory over the Hawks -- ended on the same night Kevin Garnett's comeback from a sprained right knee was aborted. Doc Rivers said before the game Garnett's absence could be extensive, and nobody seems to be able to say where the tipping point is between getting healthy for the playoffs and not having enough time to get ready for them.

"I don't know what point that is," Rivers said. "It's just uncharted waters. We just don't know the right answer there. The great news for us is that we have a ton of practice days. And even if we make the decision to rest him longer, we can still use him in some of our skeleton offense and defensive stuff in practice to get him time, where before he couldn't even be on the floor. Coming back this time, he had no practice time, nothing. Coming back this way, if we did do that, at least he could come back with practice under his belt and timing under his belt."

With Rajon Rondo still limping with an ankle injury, Garnett out of the lineup again after a four-game cameo, and Leon Powe on the shelf with a sprained right knee, the only signs of optimism come from the schedule. The Celtics are straring at five straight home games and only two more road games -- and none until April 12.

"Hopefully, he can just be healthy for the playoffs," Paul Pierce said. "That's the main concern."

That's been easy to say for a while now, because the playoffs are far enough way. As they get closer, the concern heightens. If the champs are going to defend their title, they need to be whole.

"Honestly, I don't think that way," Ray Allen said. "Whoever lines up on the floor, that's who we have. ... I just want him to get healthy. When Kev gets back, that's when we'll focus on having him out there. But right now, we don't have him."





Posted on: March 27, 2009 7:10 pm

Comeback curtailed: Garnett out against Hawks

ATLANTA -- Though he didn't crack the 20-minute mark in any of his four games back from a right knee injury, Kevin Garnett still isn't right. So Celtics coach Doc Rivers pulled the plug on KG's comeback Friday night and didn't rule out shutting Garnett down until the final two or three games of the regular season.

"We think about all that, yeah, for all of them," Rivers said before the Celtics played the Hawks, who pushed the defending champs to seven games in their first-round playoff series last year. "We're going to make that evaluation and determination at some point soon, but we don't know yet."

Rivers said Garnett is experiencing soreness but nothing structural in the knee, and that he doesn't have anything scheduled with team doctors. But Rivers had no answers for why Garnett's knee hasn't responded to limited minutes during his four-game aborted comeback. 

"It's uncharted waters," Rivers said. "We don't know where we're going with this right now. What we do know is that whatever it takes to get him to be 100 percent when the playoffs start, that's what we're going to do."

The Celtics carried an 11 1-2 game lead over Atlanta for the third playoff spot, so there's no reason to take any chances with Garnett or Rajon Rondo (ankle), who will play Friday night but will be watched closely.

"I would probably say if we're going to (rest Garnett), we're going to do it more than one day, but I'm not sure yet," Rivers said. "If he feels great (Saturday) then Sunday comes back into play, but I don't know. There's no reason to take a chance."

After the Atlanta game, the Celtics have eight remaining. If Rivers wants to shut Garnett down until the final two or three games, that plan would be complicated by the fact that Boston finishes the regular season with a back-to-back set at Philadelphia and home against Washington.

"I'm not concerned in the big picture," Rivers said. "I'm just going to make sure I don't have concern by doing it this way."



Posted on: March 18, 2009 6:39 pm

Quick, call an ambulance for the Celtics

BOSTON -- I'm here in Beantown to witness the systematic destruction of the defending NBA champions.

First, the injury news: Leon Powe, Boston's best interior player in Kevin Garnett's absence, could miss "a couple of weeks" with a sprained right knee, coach Doc Rivers said Wednesday night before the Celtics' game against the Miami Heat. Ray Allen also is out with a hyperextended elbow. Glen "Big Baby" Davis returns to the starting lineup after missing the past three games with a sprained ankle. Rajon Rondo also is struggling with a sprained ankle, and will be doing so for the rest of the season.

And those weren't even the news flashes. Rivers seemed decidedly less optimistic that Garnett would return Friday at San Antonio or Saturday at Memphis. And he conceded the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference to Cleveland before the game, saying, "We're not gonna catch Cleveland."

Now the Celts have to put themselves back together in time to hold off Orlando for the second seed.  

Oh, by the way: Dwyane Wade is out Wednesday night with a strained right hip flexor. This was the only piece of news that made Rivers smile.

"He should never play, ever again, against us," Rivers said. "It's a Marquette thing."

Shoot, at this point, Marquette could beat both the Celtics and the Heat.

I'm kidding, of course, but the race for the top three seeds in the East has turned into a contest to see which team can dress eight healthy players. Cleveland absorbed a blow, too, on Wednesday with news that Wally Szczerbiak will miss 2-3 weeks with a sprained left knee.

Anyone in favor of a shortened regular season?





Posted on: March 6, 2009 7:56 pm

Doc's thoughts are with Daly

BOSTON -- Doc Rivers knew the question was coming and couldn't hide his emotions.

"It's tough," Rivers said Friday night when asked about one of his mentors, Chuck Daly, being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

There was a lot riding on the Celtics' game against the East-leading Cavs -- homecourt advantage, a gut-check for Rivers' team without Kevin Garnett protecting the basket from LeBron James' aerial assaults. But Rivers had to put it aside for a moment during his pre-game talk with reporters and send his thoughts to Daly.

"He's a guy that I looked up to, made calls to, and got a lot of advice from," said Rivers, who succeeded Daly as coach of the Orlando Magic in 1999. "A lot of the stuff I'm running came from sessions with him."

Players, former players, coaches, former coaches, GMs, former GMs -- they're all taking a deep breath and wishing the best for Chuck D.


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