Garnett, Pietrus doubtful vs. Pistons


Garnett, Pietrus doubtful vs. Pistons

WALTHAM Kevin Garnett has proven to be a sturdy, durable force for the Boston Celtics -- until now.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said a right hip flexor injury will likely keep Garnett out of Wednesday's game against Detroit.

Rivers said in addition to Garnett and Brandon Bass (left knee swelling), Mickael Pietrus (knee) is also doubtful.

Garnett's injury apparently flared up in Boston's 95-91 win over Chicago on Sunday.

"Kevin has the best chance (of playing) of the three," Rivers said. "But I would say all are doubtful."

Garnett is currently the only Celtic starter not to miss any games this season.

"It has to be the same mentality. You realize there are going to be injuries throughout the year," said Paul Pierce. "Just like when we missed (Rajon) Rondo; just like when we missed Ray (Allen) for a few games, you gotta have guys ready to step in and step up."

If Garnett is unable to play, the C's are likely to turn to rookie JuJuan Johnson who had a career-high 12 points in Boston's win over the Bulls on Sunday.

The idea that he might be starting, is one that Johnson has never given a moment of thought, not with this team, this season.

"Not looking at whose in front of me this year," Johnson said. "Brandon (Bass), KG, JO, Chris (Wilcox) I honestly never even thought about it."

But that opportunity may be his for the taking on Wednesday if Garnett can't play.

Whether it's starting or coming off the bench, Johnson said his approach will stay the same.

"My approach is just to be ready, listen to these older guys, listen to these coaches, just try to stay locked in," he said. "That's all I can do."

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner


Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.