ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg has all the scoop from today’s Celtics practice.
Here are the most important pieces of news:
- Avery Bradley sent to Maine Red Claws
Noting it could happen as early as Friday, Rivers said rookie Avery Bradley will be optioned to Boston’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws in order to log more on-court action.
“We’re going to send Avery down pretty soon,” said Rivers. “So that he can get some reps; Playing basketball. He needs to play basketball. Especially with our schedule and the fact that we don’t practice at all.”
My Take: For those wondering if Bradley’s D-League assignment will open up a roster spot for, I don’t know, let’s say, Rasheed Wallace, the answer is no. D-League assignees still occupy a roster spot. I think this decision is in the best interest of Bradley. At this point, it is painfully obvious that Bradley is not ready to contribute to the Celtics. Bradley needs some playing experience to learn how to run a team as a point guard. He wasn’t going to get it in Boston, so it’ll be good for him to get the chance in Maine.
- Kevin Garnett practices, will not play Friday against Bobcats
“[Garnett] went through probably half the practice — more than that actually — and looked pretty good,” said Rivers. “No, he’s not playing [Friday]. He looked pretty good; He actually, besides his wind and stuff, his movements were very good.”
Asked if he could be back in the starting lineup for Monday’s showdown with visiting Orlando, Rivers seemed more optimistic about that.
“Maybe, I want to see him another practice,” said Rivers. “He’s getting close.”
My Take: For the sake of my mental health, I need to see Garnett on the court ASAP. I’m going crazy watching the Celtics stumble through January without KG and worrying about his health. Until Garnett actually steps on the floor, I do not trust what any member of the Celtics organization has to say about his health. We’ve danced to this song before. Garnett is described as “day-to-day” or “close” to return, yet the date keeps getting pushed farther and farther back.
- Jermaine O’Neal has MRI, surgery appears likely
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said center Jermaine O’Neal underwent an MRI Wednesday on his ailing left knee and, while he hadn’t seen the results yet, Rivers indicated that surgery was a likely possibility as Boston looks to cure what’s nagged at O’Neal during his first three months with the team.
My Take: To further clarify, surgery is imminent for O’Neal. However, O’Neal and the Celtics have to decide if he will have the surgery now, or after the season. It seems highly probably the surgery will occur sooner, rather than later. For anyone who has watched O’Neal play this season, this news should come as no surprise. He’s clearly been hobbled on the rare instances he’s taken the floor for the Celtics. I had high hopes way back when Jermaine was signed. Unfortunately, he can’t stay health.