MIAMI The NBA has decided to not take any disciplinary action against Kevin Garnett for his scuffle with New York's Billy Walker at the end of the Celtics' 106-104 loss to the Knicks Sunday, which means the C's will have him available for Tuesday's game in Miami.
Trailing by two points with just a few ticks on the game clock, Garnett missed a jumper in which he was defended by Walker. The two exchanged words and Garnett put his hands around Walker's neck, but was unable to grip him as Walker was moving back in an effort to avoid the contact.
When asked about the incident after the loss, Garnett scoffed, "Next question."
Walker, however, did speak to reporters afterward.
"I went to contest his shot," Walker said. "I guess he got mad I contested his shot. He grabbed my hand, tangled it up.
Walker added, "I'm a grown-up. You put your hands on my face, what part of the game is that? You know what the man does . . . would you want me to put my hands on your face and push you away? I'm a man at the end of the day. It's disrespectful. You should not do that to any man."
Having Garnett available is a huge plus to a Celtics team that can't afford to have any more key players out of the lineup.
Paul Pierce (right heel) did not play in the Celtics' season opener, and he's questionable for Tuesday's game against the Heat. His replacement, Sasha Pavlovic, was scoreless against the Knicks. Marquis Daniels, who was also used to fill the void left by Pierce, had four points on 2-for-8 shooting to go with six rebounds and five assists.
BOSTON – Regardless of what the Celtics do in the offseason, there will always be position battles in training camp.
But when the players arrive in a few weeks, a handful will have more at stake than just a roster spot.
Boston currently has 18 players with full or partially guaranteed contracts, a number that has to be pared down to 15 or less by the time the regular season begins.
The math is pretty cut and dry. Barring a trade, at least three players have to be let go.
But who will they be?
That’s for Brad Stevens and the rest of the Celtics brass to figure out.
In the meantime, here’s a look at five Celtics who, barring a trade, are likely to be among the pool of players Boston will be picking from for what should be the last couple of roster spots.
New England fans will get their first glimpse at the 2016-2017 Boston Celtics when they kick off their preseason schedule on October 4 against the Philadelphia 76ers at UMass-Amherst’s Mullins Center.
That game will feature two of the top three picks in last month’s draft as Ben Simmons, the top overall pick, will face Jaylen Brown, who was drafted by the Celtics with the third overall pick.
Boston’s 7-game schedule features no back-to-back games, but they do face the Charlotte Hornets in their second and third preseason games on Oct. 6 (in Greensboro, N.C.) and Oct. 8 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Here’s a look at Boston’s full preseason schedule:
DATE OPPONENT LOCATION TIME
Oct. 4 Philadelphia 76ers UMass-Amherst Mullins Center (Amherst, MA) 7:00 p.m. ET
Oct. 6 Charlotte Hornets Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, NC) 7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 8 Charlotte Hornets Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, CT) 3:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 13 Brooklyn Nets Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY) 7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 15 New York Knicks Madison Square Garden (New York, NY) 7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 17 Brooklyn Nets TD Garden (Boston, MA) 7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 19 New York Knicks TD Garden (Boston, MA) 7:30 p.m. ET