Pregame: KG questionable before tip-off
BOSTON -- An hour before tip-off, Boton Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Kevin Garnett (hip) was still questionable for Wednesday's game against the Detroit Pistons.
Garnett sat out practice Tuesday with a hip flexor ailment, but was able to go through the team's shootaround Wednesday morning. Garnett was on the active lineup for Boston (Marquis Daniels and Brandon Bass were the scratches), giving Boston the opportunity to play him if comfortable with his health.
Rivers did confirm that Mickael Pietrus (knee) and Jermaine O'Neal (knee, shoulder) would play against the Pistons.
"[Garnett] had a great shootaround today, [team trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] just wants to make sure that -- whatever his treatment is -- he still feels good," said Rivers. "That’s as simple as it is. I’m very comfortable [playing him if he gets late clearance]."
Garnett arrived at the Garden a mere hour before tip-off, which is rare for him (he's often spotted crossing through the locker room while the media has access 90 minutes before games). Rivers said Chris Wilcox would likely start in place of Garnett if he couldn't go Wednesday.
Garnett has played in every game this season, earning high praise from his coach.
"It’s a great bright spot," said Rivers. "I didn’t know, health-wise, if he could or would. With the schedule, I didn’t know if we were going to play him every night anyway. And we still may not. The schedule is tough, but we've kept his minutes down, and I think that’s been very important. He likes the 5-5-5 thing [playing five minutes per stint], pretty much, so that’s gone well for us, too."
Rivers did joke that playing in shorter, but more frequent bursts, does present challenges.
"It drives us crazy sometimes because he puts that entire outfit [of ice and warm-up uniform] on every time he comes out and sometimes we want to put him back in, and he has to take that entire outfit back off," Rivers said. "That takes two minutes on its own right, so it’s been pretty comical at times."
Pietrus said he was surprised to see reporters wondering about his playing status. He said he never considered not playing.
"Yes, of course [I'm playing], no doubt," said the playful Pietrus. "But, it's always good to see you guys. Next time we're going to have a chicken Caesar. All of you guys."
[Update, 7:40 p.m. -- Garnett is active for the game, but is not on the bench at tip-off; Wilcox started in his place].
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