Sunday's practice report
Doc's injury update: KG 'looks great'; Rasheed to play Monday
While practice ended on a bit of a down note when Celtics captain Paul Pierce tweaked his knee after getting tangled with Shelden Williams in 5-on-5 drills, coach Doc Rivers provided an optimistic injury outlook for the rest of Gang Green, the collection of currently sidelined Celtics.
"Rasheed [Wallace] looked good, he went through the whole practice and he'll play [Monday vs. the Dallas Mavericks]," said Rivers. "Kevin [Garnett] actually did our skeleton -- our offense with no defense -- and he looked great. All of those are good signs. We don't have them on the court yet, but things are getting better."
Rivers made it clear that Garnett would not return any sooner than Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers and even that remains merely a target date. Garnett could partake in more active drills on Tuesday, then work with a handful of teammates to brush up on offensive sets Thursday.
"I don't care how he feels, he's not playing before Friday, and he may not Friday," said Rivers. "We've got to get him into some active stuff, see how that feels, but right now that's the plan."
What's your vote?
If your telephone has been ringing all weekend, you're probably in no mood to talk about voting. But the NBA All-Star Game balloting was a hot topic at Sunday's practice session after comments made by Celtics guard Ray Allen earlier this week about limiting the fan vote.
"I made a proclamation the other day in New Jersey where, fans would get 50 percent of the vote, we'd give sportswriters 25 percent, and give the players another 25 percent," explained Allen. "That way, you have somewhat of everybody giving some type of take on who deserves it. The coaches have the reserves, so everybody has a say."
In the latest returns, Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady are positioned to be starters in this year's game, despite not having made much impact this season. The Memphis Grizzlies parted ways with Iverson earlier this year, while the Houston Rockets are trying to trade McGrady.
"Tracy, if he played, I'm sure he'd play well enough to be an All-Star player because he's done that his career," Allen said earlier this week. "But again, that's taking away from another player in the Western Conference that's having a great year, that's been playing, that deserves to be in there."
Rivers shared Allen's vision, suggesting fan vote could account for something more like "55 or 70 percent," but noted that "the fans have to be involved -- I really believe that." Rivers argued, too, that the fans only account for 10 of the 24 players, so the other 14 selections can be blamed on the coaches, who choose the reserves.
While noting that Pierce and Garnett are likely to head to Dallas next month, Rivers said he had called other coaches to lobby for his players. Coaches vote for reserves, but cannot vote for their own players.
Rivers joked that some opposing coaches are brutally honest and will not vote for his players because it would lessen the chance their own guy would make the All-Star Game.
Paper balloting for fans ended last Sunday, while electronic voting (via text or on NBA.com) ends Monday. The latest tallies -- the fourth returns released last week -- can be viewed HERE.
One off the injury report: Austin Rivers
Rivers did have another bit of injury news to pass along after X-rays came back negative for his son Austin, who tweaked his leg while participating in the 2010 Hoophall Classic in Springfield Saturday night. The younger Rivers and his Winter Park (Fla.) High School teammates won their game at the high school basketball showcase, but then headed back to Orlando because playing an additional game in
Springfield would put the team over its season limit.
"He's fine, X-rays were negative, so that's good," said Rivers. "I put him on the plane and told him to go the hell home. He loved it here, actually, loved the experience. But he was mad because [Winter Park] won and they could have played Monday. That would have put them one over. The players wanted to take the chance, but I said that wouldn't be very smart."
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