Celtics notebook

Garnett's No. 1 goal not the vote

He's more concerned with title aspirations

Carlos Delfino is howling mad after the Celtics scored in the third quarter, but the Raptors wound up with the last laugh, a 114-112 win. Carlos Delfino is howling mad after the Celtics scored in the third quarter, but the Raptors wound up with the last laugh, a 114-112 win. (John Bohn/Globe Staff)
Email|Print| Text size + By Marc J. Spears
Globe Staff / January 24, 2008

While winning an NBA championship is first and foremost on Celtics forward Kevin Garnett's mind, he would be honored to become the league's leading All-Star vote-getter.

The All-Star starters will be announced at 7 tonight on TNT. Garnett is not only expected to be voted in as an Eastern Conference starting forward by the fans but also the leading vote-getter. In the fourth and final update Jan. 10, Garnett had 1,756,251 votes, while Cleveland's LeBron James was second with 1,564,974.

"It's always something when the fans vote for you," Garnett said. "I've always been very honored and privileged. Would it mean a lot? It would mean something as far as people appreciating what you do. So from that standpoint, yeah.

"But for what we are trying to accomplish here and the goal we have set [a championship], it has nothing to do with it. But it is an honor."

Doc Rivers and his staff will coach the East by virtue of clinching the best record in the conference prior to Feb. 3. Celtics forward Paul Pierce and guard Ray Allen are strong candidates to be named reserves by the East coaches next Thursday.

"I just remembered the Pistons had a nice record in the East and they picked four guys [in 2006]," Garnett said. "It would really be special to have my teammates there. I've always said that when you do things through the course of a year, it's not just because of you but the people around you.

"Paul and Ray have made my transition a lot easier, as well as Doc, the coaching staff here, and the organization. If it was up to me, I'd bring my whole team and the organization."

Posey out again

Forward James Posey missed his second straight game with a sprained right index finger. Rivers said Posey could return tomorrow against the Timberwolves.

"It's not a severe injury," Rivers said prior to the Celtics' 114-112 loss to Toronto. "It's just something that the more rest you give it, the better it's going to keep getting."

Center Scot Pollard has sat out seven straight games because of the coach's decision. Rivers has opted to rest the 6-foot-11-inch, 278-pounder in large part to help his right ankle sprain heal. Pollard dunked during Tuesday's practice in full-court drills, but still limped while running.

"He's getting healthy," Rivers said. "We're just taking our time. There is no rush for us. I'm just going to wait."

When asked if he was concerned about Pollard's lingering injury, director of basketball operations Danny Ainge said, "I don't think so. We have the luxury of resting Scot right now because Big Baby [Glen Davis] and Leon [Powe] are playing so well.

"Scot's going to play. Scot's going to practice. But we have the luxury of letting him get right. We feel like there is going to be a time before this [season is] over and in the playoffs where we are going to need Scot Pollard."

Portland eyes D-League

Bill Ryan Sr., chairman of the board of TD Banknorth, and Bill Ryan Jr., owner of Oxford Plains Speedway, have joined former Celtics assistant coach and executive Jon Jennings in a bid to bring an NBA Development League team to Portland, Maine. Hall of Famer K.C. Jones is an adviser.

Jennings said the Portland group's application was sent to the NBA last year. League executives are expected to meet with the group next week. Jennings also said he and Ryan Sr. have had conversations with Celtics president Rich Gotham about becoming affiliated with the team.

Although a group from Manchester, N.H., also hopes to land a D-League team affiliated with the Celtics, Jennings is confident his group would get the nod because of its strong connections to the franchise. A D-League franchise likely would be awarded this spring and begin play during the 2008-09 season, pending other new East Coast franchises.

Home movies

Allen is the first of several athletes shown in a recent Jordan Jumpman shoe line commercial using video clips from their high school days and earlier. Allen said Jordan Jumpman received footage from his senior season at Dalzell Hillcrest (S.C.) High from his father . . . Guards Rajon Rondo and Eddie House will sign autographs at Dick's Sporting Goods in Natick's Sherwood Plaza tonight from 6-7:30.

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