Kevin Garnett's Return Tonight Is Not A Guarantee
As of 1 p.m. EST on Friday, there was no guarantee that Kevin Garnett would play tonight.
After the Wednesday practice went well, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that Garnett could participate in a full practice on Thursday if one was held, but didn't say whether or not he'd be able to play. No other reports are refuting Kevin Garnett’s return to the Garden on Friday against the Blazers. The problem is that no articles about a KG return are backed up by any Celtics staff. One Washington paper states it as fact but doesn’t cite any sources. So Celtics fans are forced to sit and wait. The question hanging like this will make the reaction (for better or worse) that much bigger during tonight’s introductions.
In other injury news, utility man Marquis Daniels should be returning from a left thumb surgery sometime in February. While not as much of an asset as KG, Daniels came off the bench as a point guard and defensive specialist. He was averaging about 20 minutes per game and would be a big help to an under-performing bench.
Celtics 2nd half struggles
Heading into Friday’s game against the Blazers, in their last five losses the Celtics are coming out flat after halftime. They average just 19 points in those five games, while opponents are averaging just over 27 points in the third quarter. As the games get closer (Celtics had halftime leads in four of those games) and the fourth quarter comes along, the Celtics seem to get into a panic mode (or a “Give-The-Ball-To-Paul-Pierce" mode) and average 20 in the fourth while giving up just over 24.
Call it lack of focus, lack of energy, or lack of effort. Whichever you choose, it seems to be a problem that KG alone couldn’t fix – especially if he comes back with limited minutes for the first few games.
Trade rumors just rumors
With the trade deadline less than a month away, the only rumor the Celtics have been a part of involves Nate Robinson. This was news to Doc Rivers who said he has no knowledge of a Robinson trade. The Celtics continue to lay low, hoping that a fully healthy team will be enough. Or perhaps they are waiting to woo a retired pro at All-Star weekend again.