Rivers: Garnett doubtful for Wednesday's game

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Rivers: Garnett doubtful for Wednesday's game

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

WALTHAM It looks like the long-awaited return of Kevin Garnett may not be as soon as the Boston Celtics thought.

Wednesday's game against the Sacramento Kings would be within the two-week time frame since he suffered the injury, but coach Doc Rivers said he doubts Garnett will play.

"He's just not ready yet," Rivers said. "He's close, very close."

Such words ring hollow with Celtics fans, remembering all too well similar proclamations made a couple years ago when Garnett was battling a right knee injury that kept him out longer than anyone anticipated.

He ultimately wound up missing 25 games that season, and the entire playoffs.

Not only is he now dealing with a different injury, but the Celtics' approach has changed as well.

While there is concern, it doesn't appear to be the level that we're accustomed to seeing when a star player gets hurt.

Shortly after the injury, an X-ray was taken and it showed no fractured bones. He was later given an MRI, and those results didn't do anything to change their diagnosis that two weeks off should be good enough to help some of that soreness heal.

While Garnett did participate in some of the skeleton offensive sets, he was not on the floor when the Celtics went live.

During that time, he was riding a treadmill in addition to getting in some additional work on the weight room.

Rivers reiterated that he likes what he sees from Garnett thus far.

But not enough to play him, apparently.

"He could play tomorrow," Rivers said. "I don't think he will, but there's a chance."

Rivers had similar doubts earlier this month about Rajon Rondo.

Rondo had missed seven games with a left ankle sprain, and Rivers was expecting him to miss an eighth at Toronto on Jan. 2. Before the game, Rivers said he didn't plan on playing him. But conversations between Rivers, Rondo and team trainer Ed Lacerte, convinced Rivers to give Rondo a shot at playing. The Celtics won with Rondo playing nearly 40 minutes.

No Kevin Garnett means we'll see more of Glen Davis in the starting lineup.

Davis has taken his collective bumps and bruises of late for shooting more than any other Celtic.

Rivers has talked about cutting Davis' minutes back some, and doing so by playing a smaller lineup that included either Marquis Daniels or Nate Robinson.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Jae Crowder talks about constant trade rumors; love for Boston and Brad Stevens

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Jae Crowder talks about constant trade rumors; love for Boston and Brad Stevens

Celtics forward Jae Crowder talks with Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine talks about building on a breakthrough season last year, and the love for his head coach Brad Stevens, and for the city of Boston.

Also, Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely talk about what lies ahead for Crowder in 2016/17.

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Bradley knows the risks of his all-out brand of defense

Bradley knows the risks of his all-out brand of defense

WALTHAM – There are a number of NBA players we have seen through the years whose effort level has been questioned.
 
But when it comes to Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley, that has never been an issue.
 
In fact, Bradley’s all-out style of defense has been a major factor in him being sidelined for an extended period of time in each of his six NBA seasons.
 
Although he’s only 25 years old, Bradley is starting to embrace the idea of less all-out defense might not be such a bad idea.
 
“It’s hard to control my injuries because I play hard every single possession,” Bradley told CSNNE.com following the team’s first practice. “I can’t say that every NBA player doesn’t, but I know there’s not a lot. I play hard every single possession especially on the defensive end. That can take a toll on your body. I just have to make sure I’m taking care of myself and picking my spots a little better.”
 
Prior to the Celtics selecting Bradley with the 19th overall pick in the 2011, he suffered a dislocated shoulder injury. Throughout his five NBA seasons, the veteran guard has a long list of injuries which has sidelined him for at least five games every season in addition to missing some playoff games.
 
Knowing the risks involved in continuing his all-out brand of basketball, the fact that Bradley is even open to the idea of picking when to assert himself defensively and when to be more passive, is progress.
 
“I’m pretty sure someone like (ex-Celtics) Tony Allen …  he’s not going to go hard like every possession,” Bradley said. “He’s going to pick his spots, still play good defense.”
 
Which is exactly what Bradley is striving to do this season, and show that last season’s all-NBA First Team Defense nod wasn’t a fluke.

But as we have seen with Bradley throughout his career with the Celtics, he has a way of coming back every season having made a significant stride in some facet of the game to become closer to being a two-way player.
 
“That’s my goal; I want my teammates to be able to count on me playing well at both ends of the floor,” Bradley said.
 
And as I mentioned earlier, Bradley is still a relatively young guy who turns 26 years old in November.
 
‘I’m still a 90s baby’ just like everybody on this team,” quipped Bradley.
 
Being so young puts a premium of sorts on players to learn all they can as quickly as they can in relation to their respective team.
 
“I feel young; I feel young,” Bradley said. “I feel young. I still haven’t even played a full season yet. This will be my first season playing a whole season.”
 
Listening to Bradley talk about adjusting how he plays defensively, it’s pretty clear that he’s having an internal tug-of-war between continuing to play elite defense and easing up defensively.
 
“That’s just me. Some people can do it. Maybe I could take some (plays) off, play passing lanes,” Bradley said. “But I don’t think I’ll ever change into that. It could help our team out a little bit.”