Garnett still out, and joined on sidelines by J. O'Neal


Garnett still out, and joined on sidelines by J. O'Neal

By A. Sherrod Blakely

BOSTON Kevin Garnett missed his eighth straight game against the Kings, and he may miss more.

He's not alone.

The C's were also without Jermaine O'Neal, whose left knee continues to prevent him from suiting up regularly for the Celtics.

While the C's count on both to contribute, Garnett's injury is the one of greater concern right now. The Celtics' defensive catalyst has missed eight straight games because of a right calf strain injury.

Bostonhad initially said Garnett would be out a couple of weeks, withWednesday night's game marking the two-week anniversary of his injurywhich occurred Dec. 29 at Detroit.

Coach Doc Rivers said Garnett wouldprobably not play on Friday against Charlotte, but there's achance he'll return to action on Monday against Orlando.

Thelonger Garnett stays out -- especially considering how Garnett's right knee injury a coupleyears ago snowballed into him missing 25 regular-season games and theentire playoffs -- the more likely Celtics fans are to starttheorizing that his injury is worse than the C's are letting on.

"It'sno conspiracy or anything like that," Rivers said. "It's just taking alittle longer than we wanted it to. But it's not a big deal."

When asked whether there was a concern that the injury might linger deep into the season, Rivers responded, "No."

He added, "No one has told me to worry about that. Eddie Lacerte, the C's head trainer is really nonchalant about it."

When asked what has prevented him Garnett suiting up by now, Rivers said, "I don't know. It's as simple as my conversation with Eddie. I ask 'Is he ready to go?' And he says, 'If it was a playoff game, then yes, but I would hold him out a couple more days.' "

As for O'Neal, it was the 21st game of the season he has missed due to injury.

Rivers said O'Neal's left knee was swollen Wednesday morning. It is unclear when O'Neal will return to action.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn.

Celtics waive Kelly


Celtics waive Kelly

Less than 24 hours after signing Ryan Kelly, the Celtics waived the power forward.

This is the second time Kelly was put on waivers in the past week, which is how Boston initially acquired him from the Hawks.

Now the door is open for Kelly to sign with Boston's D-League team, the Maine Red Claws, which was the initial expectation when the Celtics acquired him.

Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener


Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener

BOSTON – Marcus Smart’s sprained left ankle injury continues to heal, but the Celtics remain in wait-and-see mode when it comes to his availability for the season opener on Wednesday against Brooklyn.
Smart sprained the ankle in the second quarter of a 121-96 preseason loss to the New York Knicks when he stepped on the foot of Knicks guard Justin Holliday.
He was helped off the floor by teammates Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas along with head trainer Ed Lacerte.
Since the injury, the Celtics have been pleased with the healing progress of the ankle, the same ankle he sprained as a rookie which kept him out for several weeks.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Smart is no longer in a walking boot and continues to be day-to-day as he receives a steady diet of treatments to help speed up the healing process.
Smart will undergo a series of tests to determine the ankle’s strength, prior to getting any kind of clearance to play.
That’s why Stevens isn’t worried about Smart returning to the floor too soon.
“I trust our staff. Our staff and Marcus will make that decision well,” Stevens said. “Then I play guys, if they are available.”
Smart has established himself as one of the Celtics’ top reserves, with the ability to play both guard positions and some small forward depending on the lineup on the floor. The Celtics have to prepare for the possibility that he will not be able to play in the opener (or the first few games considering Boston opens with three games in four nights.

His absence would create more playing time for Terry Rozier in addition to likely resulting in extended minutes for starters such as Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder.
As eager as Smart is to get back on the floor, he and the Celtics are mindful of the big picture.
This team wants to make a deep playoff run and they’ll everyone – Smart included – to do so.
That’s why as much as Smart wants to get on the floor immediately, he has to remember – or be reminded of – that this is an 82-game season and his long-term value to this team and its goals can’t be taken for granted.