Garnett Out At Least Next Four Games

31 03 2009
The Boston Celtics need their emotional leader, Kevin Garnett, in order to put up their 18th banner. (Copyright 2009 NBAE  (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Boston Celtics need their emotional leader, Kevin Garnett, in order to put up their 18th banner. (Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

By: Brendan Tyman

Kevin Garnett will be out for at least the next four games with the aggravation of the sprained knee he suffered in the battle against the Orlando Magic last Wednesday. He has sat out the last two games in Atlanta and at home versus Oklahoma City.

This means that KG may be back for the final three contests in the regular season to get his rhythm and timing back. March has really hurt both Garnett and the Celtics. There have been numerous injuries the Celts had to endure including Rajon Rondo’s sprained ankle, Leon Powe hurting his ankle, and Glen Davis also spraining his ankle.

Garnett had returned when the team played in San Antonio and was inserted into the starting lineup in a few games before being shut down.

Head coach Doc Rivers hopes to have a healthy Garnett for the playoffs as Boston is behind second-place Orlando by percentage points.

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Late Rally Falls Short In Orlando

26 03 2009
Celtics guard Ray Allen shoots a jump shot in the first half of the game between Boston and the Orlando Magic. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Celtics guard Ray Allen shoots a jump shot in the first half of the game between Boston and the Orlando Magic. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

By: Brendan Tyman

In a battle for second place in the Eastern Conference, Boston fell to the Magic, 84-82, at the Amway Arena. Dwight Howard blocked a Paul Pierce shot with 3.8 seconds left that would have given the Celtics a lead.

Orlando went ahead early and continued to build on their lead even when Kevin Garnett was playing in the 3rd quarter. The score was 66-50 before the C’s began to climb back into the contest. They outscored the Magic 20-14 in the 4th quarter.

Howard (a.k.a. Superman) finished with 24 points and 21 rebounds. This was the 8th time Howard has recorded a 20-20 in his career. Rashard Lewis added 21. Courtney Lee hit some big shots and contributed with 11 points.

Pierce led the Celts with 26 points. Kendrick Perkins had a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards.

Howard dominated from the opening tip and Boston could not match the intensity. The Magic shot better than the first 3 times these teams met, especially from behind the arc. In the previous matchups, Orlando shot just 29% from international waters, but last night they made 40%.

The Celtics have included another road in their quest for a repeat.





C’s Late Rally Falls Short

9 03 2009
Boston's Ray Allen goes up for a jump shot over Hedo Turkoglu of the Magic in the Celtics' tough loss versus Orlando yesterday  (AP Photo/Winslow Townson).

Boston's Ray Allen goes up for a jump shot over Hedo Turkoglu of the Magic in the Celtics' tough loss versus Orlando yesterday (AP Photo/Winslow Townson).

By: Brendan Tyman

Until an hour before game time, the Boston Celtics decided to start Stephon Marbury because Rajon Rondo was out after spraining his ankle in the win over Cleveland Friday night. This did not work out as the Celts committed nine turnovers in the first 12 minutes en route to an 86-79 loss at the hands of the Orlando Magic.

After the 1st quarter, the Magic imposed their will and showed that Boston has too many bodies missing. Orlando raced to a 51-33 lead at halftime. The first half was the worst half of basketball the C’s have played since the 2006 – ’07 season.

Add Glen Davis to the list of players out with sprained ankles and knees as he got injured in the third quarter.

Despite the awful play in the first half and losing more players to injury, the Celtics fought their way back into the game in the final frame. They were down 82-79 when Ray Allen (32 points and nine rebounds) missed a trey in the final minute.

Paul Pierce added 16 and Leon Powe finished with 12 points and 7 boards despite fouling out in the final seconds.

The NBA’s version of Superman, Dwight Howard, led the Magic with 18 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Hedo Turkoglu (a Celtics killer) tallied 16 and Rashard Lewis dropped 15 points.

News surfaced that Kevin Garnett will not be able to play until Sunday at the earliest. Rondo is hoping to be back in the next game at Miami on Wednesday. It is still unclear when Davis will be in uniform again as he was walking on crutches after yesterday’s defeat.

They cannot afford to keep losing any more of these players coming down the stretch.





Overcoming Adversity

7 03 2009

Leon Powe and Kendrick Perkins of Boston battle the Cavs' Zydrunas Illgauskas for the loose ball (AP Photo/Winslow Townson).

Leon Powe and Kendrick Perkins of Boston battle the Cavs' Zydrunas Ilgauskas for the loose ball (AP Photo/Winslow Townson).

By: Brendan Tyman

The Boston Celtics were without Kevin Garnet (strained knee), Tony Allen (thumb surgery), and Brian Scalabrine (concussion) to begin the game against the vaunted Cleveland Cavaliers. Yet, they found a way to come away with the 105-94 victory at a rocking TD Banknorth Garden.

This game felt like a playoff atmosphere as the crowd went crazy when LeBron James (5-for-15 from the field) missed a dunk in the opening quarter. There was some chippy play in the second half  with the C’s leading 54-48, when Glen Davis received a flagrant-2 foul on Anderson Varejao. Zydrunas Ilgauskas got a technical foul for going after Davis. James and Ray Allen matched each other’s technicals.

Despite a foul discrepancy (James and the Celts were both 9 of 12 from the line) that would have Phil Jackson crying and the bench being even more thin due to the loss of Davis, Boston increased their lead into double digits on multiple occasions (86-72 and 98-83) in the final frame.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 29 points. Leon Powe came up big with a double-double (20 points and 11 rebounds). Perkins and Davis each had 10. Allen finished with 17 points. Rajon Rondo came back from a twisted ankle in the 1st quarter to add 10 assists.

Mo Williams dropped 26 points and James added 21 for Cleveland.

Boston dominated Cleveland in the paint and had 31 assists compared to the Cavs’ 17. The one reason the Cavaliers stayed in this game was the large difference in free throws.

On Sunday, the C’s will go play Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. Boston, Cleveland, and Orlando are fighting for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.