Tag Archives: Boston Celtics

Is it too Early to Cast Doubts on Kevin Garnett’s Health?

The hopes and aspirations of this season Boston Celtics rely heavily on the health of Kevin Garnett

The hopes and aspirations of this season Boston Celtics rely heavily on the health of Kevin Garnett

As preseason is now less than a month away, with the lack of information regarding Kevin Garnett’s progress, is it fair to begin casting doubts on his ability to play in the preseason? Is it fair to question whether he will be available to play in Cleveland on opening night?

 

Dating back to last season, I was not a Celtics “KG conspiracy believer”. I did find it coincidental, however, that the Celtics declared Garnett “ready to play next week” several times before completely shutting him down around the time tickets sold out for game one of the opening round series of the playoffs.

As the playoffs progressed, Doc Rivers flirted with the possibility of a KG return. Garnett’s staring in a TV commercial right in the heart of the thrilling Chicago series furthered speculation over KG’s return.

With emotions stirring over the first round of the playoffs, a series most found to be absolutely one of the more exciting series in playoff history, I found myself thinking – How is KG healthy enough to shoot an Adidas commercial but unable to sit on the bench in a suit through an entire game?

The commercial served as a tease to me, a person who had not so feverishly craved a Celtic in uniform since Larry Bird spent weeks on the injured list in 1992.

After my emotions cooled, I realized basketball is a business and I am sure KG was capable of fulfilling his endorsement obligations, even with a bum knee.

I still hate that commercial though!

Paul Pierce gave an excellent interview yesterday to Peter Stringer, discussing a range of topics regarding the Celtics 2010 championship aspirations, he also briefly touched on KG’s health.

He mentioned Garnett being at the Waltham practice facility as a, “KG sighting”, a phrase we heard all too often during last spring’s playoffs when KG was spotted entering the practice facility. To me, a “KG sighting” is not too reassuring.

Then Stringer went on to ask Pierce how KG looked. Pierce responded:

“He’s lookin’ pretty good. He didn’t play but he’s out there doin’ slides, he’s liftin’ the weights, he’s on the treadmill, so we’re excited to have him back”

Again, to me, Pierce’s assessment of KG’s progress seems to be guarded and not reassuring.

As Greg Payne of Celtics Circuit pointed out, at the 50 second mark of the video, you can see Garnett doing defensive slides at Waltham. As great as it is to see KG in practice gear with the team, it is equally concerning to see the stiff manner in which Garnett is moving in. He looks to be hampered by a, still recovering, sleaved right knee.

I know I have to keep in perspective that Garnett recently underwent surgery on that knee and that recovery does not happen over night.

Some will say that I am paranoid.

My response to that claim is that the Celtics created this paranoia last season with their flip flopping on all things regarding Kevin Garnett’s health. Though I do not believe that the Celtics knew the severity of his injury when they claimed Garnett ready to play the week before the playoffs began (only to shut him down several days later), I do believe their dificiencies in properly relaying Garnett’s injury status to the media only added to an already beat up locker room. 

Basically, I am disturbed to say that I have lost all confidence in the Celtics medical staff when it comes to Kevin Garnett’s status updates, or lack there of.

At this point, the only thing that will subdue this brewing debate over KG’s health is for the Big Ticket himself to start talking to the media about his progress.

Even the reclusive, private, anti-social and some times rude, Larry Bird realised the importance his health played on team moral and gave media statements regarding his progress or, at times, lack of progress.

I am not questioning Garnett’s heart or desire to play – who would? I am only stating that, at times, an athlete needs to put aside his own tendencies to be private and guarded for the betterment of team moral.

If the Celtics are going to face a stint at the start of the season with Garnett unable to play, they should be emotionally and strategically preparing for that scenario now.

If Garnett’s progress is moving as expected and he will 100% be in uniform on October 27th then Garnett should say it and if they are unsure of whether he will be properly recovered and conditioned to play by opening night – he should just say it.

KG, we are waiting to hear from you!

Today’s Headlines

Celtics Circuit                             Kendrick Perkins Need to Start Over Rasheed Wallace

Loy’s Place                                  In the Books: Red Auerbach On and Off the Court – Part 4

Celtics Town                              White Chocolate is Dead, But Jason Williams is on the Magic

Celtics Blog                               Which Ray Allen Will Show Up?

Celtics Hub                                Links and Thoughts

Red’s Army                                Ray Allen Will Teach You How to Shoot

NBATipOff                                  Steve Nash’s Top Plays From 08-09

 

Celtics Shamrock

Today’s Headlines

 

Red’s Army                                              Just Remembering, Most of Us Didn’t Want this Guy

                                                                     The Week in Review

Cetics Circuit                                        Can Sports Writers Please Give us Some Information?

                                                                  Anthony Carter Re-Signs with the Nuggets

Celtics Town                                       Could 72 Wins be Reached in 09-10?

Boston Sports Then and Now      Remembering the Greatness of Kevin McHale

Celtics Blog                                         Special K – Kevin Durant

Celtics Hub                                         Exploring the Point Guard Scrap Heap

Loy’s Place                                         In the Books – Red Auerbach On and Off the Court – Part 1

 

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Our Chronicals of the Original Big Three Continue This Week

parrish spin moveWe brought back fond memories with rave reviews in our post Larry Bird: The Sudden and Sadening Demise of a Basketball Legend.

We ruffled feathers with our controversial claim that Kevin McHale was the NBA’s last true big man.

Now we are working on the story of one of NBA history’s most durable big men. Hall of famer, Robert Parish played for 21 seasons and was the only member of the Original Big Three to win a fourth title. He was a 9 time all-star and voted one of the 50th greatest players in NBA history.

Stay tuned…

Today’s Headlines

Red’s Army                       Eddie House: We Expect Huge Things

                                              More on Pierce from Jared Dudley

                                              KG’s Knee is Looking Really Good

Celtics Hub                      Q-Richardson the X-Factor

                                             How Do I Deal with Powe Departure

Loy’s Place                       In the Books – Heinsohn, Don’t You Ever Smile? Part 4

Celtics Circuit                The Best Front Court in Celtics History?

Celtics Blog                     A Late Summer Pick Up

Celtics Town                  Recapping the Eventful Boston Celtics Off Season (So Far..)

NBATipoff                       The Hornets Don’t Want to Win

Hoston Herald             Leon Powe Goes with the Flow

Boston.com                  So Long, Leon

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Kevin McHale: The NBA’s Last True Big Man

In 1989, McHale became the first player in 22 years to finish in the top ten in field goal and free throw percentage in the same season.

In 1989, McHale became the first player in 22 years to finish in the top ten in field goal and free throw percentage in the same season.

It seems that members of the media faced with the task of defending McHale during their career’s remember Kevin’s unguardable array of moves best.

Blessed with a freakish wingspan, McHale possessed five distinctive moves in low post. Kevin often found humor in naming his moves and Tommy Heinsohn, the Celtics and CBS broadcaster during the 80s, made them famous.

Heinsohn would almost sound as silly as McHale looked unorthodox performing his art in the post. It would only take one pump fake to get his defender off his feet and McHale would slither thru a double team, on his way to a finger roll laying the ball in the basket. Heinsohn would proclaim with his raspy, cigarette ridden voice, “and there’s the slippery eel”!

Kevin seemed to ryle Heinsohn in similar fashion to the way a great steal from past Celtics legends ryled up quintessential “homer” and radio broadcaster, Johnny Most.

Maybe it was the fact that McHale and Heinsohn were both power forwards. Coincidentally, the same enthusiasm is displayed when Charles Barkley describes McHale as the toughest player Barkley ever had to defend.

It’s evident that you had to guard McHale to fully appreciate his talent.

McHale was selected as the third pick in the 1980 draft, a deal that brought Robert Parish to the Celtics from the Golden State Warriors for the number one pick in that class. Often heralded as the most lopsided trade in NBA history, Red Auerbach in one sneaky move brought together the last two keys that formed the original Big Three in Boston.

Robert Parish and Kevin McHale along with second year forward Larry Bird are arguably considered the best front

Parish, Bird and McHale are often recognized as the best front line in NBA history.

Parish, Bird and McHale are often recognized as the best front line in NBA history.

line in NBA history.

In his rookie season, McHale became the sixth man,  a role made famous by former Celtic, John Havlicek. Averaging 10 points and 4.5 rpg, McHale showed signs of his potential. His sharp wit and laid back demeanor lightened up a roster that included Larry Bird, Robert Parish and Chris Ford.

The new look Celtics won their first championship in McHale’s rookie season.

McHale continued his role as sixth man as his points, rebounds and blocked shot increased every season.

In 1984, McHale won his first of two consecutive sixth man awards and his second NBA championship. Ironically, in 1985, McHale finally replaced Cedric Maxwell in the starting line up in route to the NBA Finals.

Though the Celtics lost to the Lakers, McHale had become one of the NBA’s most unstoppable offensive forces, averaging 21 ppg, 3 apg, 8 rpg and 2 bpg.

From 1984 thru 1988, McHale averaged over 21 ppg capped off by a 27 ppg average in 1987. McHale was the perfect scoring compliment to Larry Bird. Heinsohn had moved on from naming McHale’s innumerable moves with his back to the basket and began to simply proclaim defending him as the “torture chamber”.

An appropriate description as McHale rarely missed (or passed) when receiving the ball in the low post. He averaged over 51% from the field in 12 of his 13 seasons. From 1985 thru 1988 he averaged over 59% from the field.

McHale’s unique ability to draw a foul was even more lethal when combined with his career 80% free throw average – a quality seldom displayed among today’s big men.

In 1987, Kevin displayed his high threshold for pain as he played the entire post season on a severely fractured foot enroute to another Finals appearance against the LA Lakers.

As the 1980’s winded down, McHale continued to develop into the Celtics most lethal offensive weapon. Larry Bird and Kevin McHale’s two man game was known as one of the leagues simplest, yet unstoppable plays. McHale, often playing on injured ankles, would draw double and triple coverage regularly while consistently completing the play and tallying another assist for Larry Legend.

One of the most forgotten aspects of his career, McHale made the All-Defense first or second team six times. Often tasked with guarding the opposing team’s best offensive player at every position, McHale’s long arms and excellent foot work made defense look simple.

It was in the twighlight of his career that McHale showed his unparrelled versitility. Moving back to the bench as the Celtics 6th man, he would serve as Bird and Parish’s replacement. In the later days of his career, McHale would play center as often as he played power forward.

In 1993, his last season, Kevin McHale had seen his career come full circle. The years of playing on injured and broken feet had finally caught up with him. His point per game average had sunk to his rookie season number of 10 ppg. His minutes had also decreased to the lowest since his rookie year.

McHale was quoted as saying “I used to use games as a barometer for how I am feeling. Now, with my lack of playing time, I have to use the gym and weight room.”

In an era where today’s league is dominated by the guard, big men rarely like to play with their back to the basket. Today’s big man cannot shoot a free throw with consistent accuracy.

It seems the true art of the NBA big man may have retired when McHale’s career ended.

Highly touted as the best low post player in NBA history, in recent years, Kevin McHale’s arsenal of low post moves has been much forgotten and rarely discussed.

It’s Official: Big Baby Re-Signed By Celtics Today!

Celtics Davis Basketball

In a late morning press conference today, the Celtics announced that Glen “Big Baby” Davis has signed a two year, 3 million per year deal.

I never thought Davis would earn mid level money and the economy certainly didn’t help him. Teams are not willing to take any risks while revenues are down.

Big Baby’s misfortunes undoubtedly worked to our benifit. I am not suprise Davis was retained by the C’s. I am, however, very relieved.

Loy’s Place reported that Davis will receive a $500k kicker per year for weight loss related bonuses. Davis has already lost 40 pounds since the Celtics exited the playoffs in May.

In other news, Sheldon Williams was also signed to a veteran’s minimum contract today.

The Celtics bench is looking very well rounded.

I cannot wait for the season to begin!