TORONTO Kevin Garnett is still going to average around 30 or so minutes per game this season.But the way those minutes will come about, is expected to change.That will be among the changes Celtics coach Doc Rivers plans to tinker with during this shortened preseason schedule, which begins today against the Toronto Raptors.The purpose of modifying his minutes, Rivers said, is to allow him to be more effective in the fourth quarter."I thought last year Kevin, his fourth-quarter numbers were down," Rivers said.He added, "We're going to avoid the 10-minute in a row stretches and do more five and five and five, three times in a half. I don't know if that'll work, honestly. I'm 50-50 on whether it'll work."Here are some other notes and nuggets heading into today's preseason opener. Boston has a 19-5 preseason record since 2008, the second-best record in the NBA during that time. Only the Orlando Magic (21-1) have a better preseason record in that span.The Celtics are one of just three teams (the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks are the others) with four players who appeared in games during the last NBA lockout-shortened season, 1999. Rivers continues to hold court in rarified air among Celtics coaches. Entering his eighth season with the C's, the only other coach since Red Auerbach stepped aside in 1966 to coach the Celtics for that many years consecutively, was Hall of Famer and Comcast SportsNet analyst Tommy Heinsohn. The Raptors have a new head coach in Dwyane Casey. His previous head coaching experience came during the 2006-2007 season in Minnesota. He coached 40 games that season with the Timberwolves, posting a 20-20 record. That team featured Garnett.
At every checkpoint along the way, this Deflategate farce continued precisely because the NFL has been seeking to diminish the Patriots and Tom Brady.