Kevin Garnett was extremely reluctant to be honored before the game when the Celtics visited Minnesota last season, but the experience should help for tonight's rematch, coach Doc Rivers said before last night's 98-80 win over Detroit.
"With Kevin, he walks that line every night," Rivers said of the former Timberwolves star's emotional makeup. "There are times when he needs to be talked down. You don't know until you get there. It's nice he's been there. He didn't play but he's been there.
"He was emotional [last season], No. 1 because he couldn't play [as the result of an abdominal strain], and it was no fun that whole stretch talking him out of playing games. We had to talk him into going on the floor. He's so keen to his teammates he didn't want to be a distraction. It went to the wire. He wasn't going - basically, we had to talk him into it. His reasons were valid, he just had to understand the place was sold out for one reason, and it wasn't because of me."
Rivers is wary of Minnesota, though no Celtics starter played more than Paul Pierce's 28 minutes last night.
"They're going to be a tough game for a lot of reasons," Rivers said. "No. 1, we played at [8:20 last night] and they're home. And we'll get in at 3 a.m. [Central time] and then there's a 7 o'clock game. So that in itself is going to be tough. And it doesn't matter that your guys didn't play a certain amount of minutes - they were on the floor. There's no way around that.
"They broke their [eight-game losing] streak, so now they're going to play free again. I don't know if it's six games or seven games, [the Timberwolves] had leads going into the fourth quarter against very good teams. And then the Kevin Garnett factor - who knows where that's going to go? I wish I could tell you. I can't."
McDyess to Detroit?The chances of Antonio McDyess returning to Detroit are increasing, according to Pistons coach Michael Curry.
"I get into [Boston] and I look across the [television screen] at 2:30 [a.m. yesterday] and it says that he is going to Charlotte," Curry said before last night's game. "I didn't sleep good. I figured they offered him a heck of a package.
"But, as I've said before, the longer it goes, the better chance we have. I figured that if he didn't sign last week, he'd get through Thanksgiving. That puts us closer to Dec. 7 [when McDyess is eligible to re-sign with the Pistons, who traded him to Denver this month]. Hopefully, we can get it done."
Rivers confirmed his team's chances of acquiring McDyess are not good.
"I'm not involved with it right now; I've got the team and I'm focusing on that," Rivers said.
"I'm not getting any reports, which is probably not good."
Building blockBill Walker, who has played six minutes in two appearances, confirmed he will be sent to the NBA Development League today.
"It's a way of getting in games and getting in game shape," he said. "I don't want to sit on the bench the whole year. The team is doing well and there are not a lot of minutes for me. That's why the league was created, so you can go down and get some games."
Thanksgiving assistRay Allen and Rajon Rondo will be part of a turkey dinner giveaway on Thanksgiving. "We always did that in Seattle," Allen said. "The thing about last year, we just had so much that hit us getting here to Boston. I just told [his associates] that we always have foundation events and we have an event over Christmas as well. But over Thanksgiving, we always give away turkeys."
Marc J. Spears of the Globe staff contributed to this report.