Rivers: I'm comfortable playing Garnett

Rivers: I'm comfortable playing Garnett
February 16, 2012, 12:26 am
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BOSTON The Boston Celtics tip-off against Detroit in less than an hour, and there's still no definitive word on whether Kevin Garnett (hip flexor) will play.

Celtics head coach Doc Rivers spoke with team trainer Ed Lacerte earlier. But at that time, Rivers said it wasn't clear if Garnett would play tonight.

If Garnett doesn't play, Rivers said the C's would probably start Chris Wilcox.

Wilcox is coming off arguably his best game for the Celtics. In Boston's 95-91 win over Chicago on Sunday, Wilcox had 11 points and nine rebounds filling in for an injured Jermaine O'Neal.

O'Neal, who was out with a shoulder injury, will be in the starting lineup tonight.

As for Garnett, Rivers said he's comfortable playing him despite his uncertain status so close to the opening tip-off.

"He had a great shoot-around today," Rivers said. "Eddie wants to make sure whatever his treatment is, he still feels good. That's as simple as it is, so I'm very comfortable."

Garnett is averaging 14 points and 7.7 rebounds per game this season.

The most impressive stat for Garnett?

That would be 27 -- as in, the number of games the Celtics have played with all including Garnett in the lineup.

With the condensed season and Garnett's past health issues, Rivers had no idea whether Garnett would hold up physically as well as he has thus far this season.

"The schedule's tough, but we've kept his minutes down," Rivers said. "He likes the 5-5-5 thing, pretty much. So that's gone well for us, too."