Garnett decision is coming Friday
CHICAGO - It won't be determined until Friday morning, on the floor of the AT&T Center in San Antonio, whether the long-awaited return of Kevin Garnett to the Celtics will come that night against the Spurs.
Coach Doc Rivers has been saying that he expects the injured All-Star to return for that game. But after more consideration, Rivers said prior to last night's 127-121 loss to the Bulls that a determination will be made during Friday's shootaround.
Garnett has been sidelined since Feb. 19, when he sprained his right knee at Utah, and has yet to practice. Rivers will need convincing before he lets Garnett suit up.
"That's going to be very difficult for me to play him, although obviously, we need to play him in those games," said Rivers. "Right now, someone has to convince me if that's good."
In any case, Rivers doubts Garnett would play in back-to-back games at San Antonio and Memphis Friday and Saturday.
Whenever he returns, Rivers said, Garnett will play with the starters. Minutes, however, are to be determined.
"That would be difficult for me to put him on the floor in either one of those games," Rivers said. "I know I won't play him in both of those games if he comes back.
"Unless the shootaround is better than I expect Friday morning, I don't know how we play a guy that hasn't played [since Feb. 19]. I think that's difficult, but we'll see.
"I just thought about it more. I haven't thought about it a whole bunch. We're getting closer to the date. We'll see. We'll find it out."
Rivers said there is a possibility Glen Davis will return tonight against Miami; if not then, definitely Friday. Davis has been hampered by a right ankle sprain.
"The technical on which I got thrown out was the most unprofessional technical by a ref I've ever had," Rivers said. "He stood there and goaded me and goaded me and stared at me.
"Look at the film. I actually walked away. He asked me, 'Where do you want the ball?' And I said, 'Ask them,' talking about my players. That's my right to say that, and he walked away.
"He stood there and stared me down and stared me down and goaded me until I turned around and said, 'What?' That's when I got thrown out of the game. In a [5-point] game? Think about that."
Kennedy was unavailable for comment.
"I like the fact that these two teams play on St. Patrick's Day," said Rivers, a Chicago native. "I don't know that any two cities celebrate it more than these two. They paint the river green here.
"I think we should do it every St. Pat's. But I would like a couple in Boston. But it's probably safer not to. The bars are doing well."
The Celtics are 12-1 on St. Patrick's Day at home and are 9-9 on the road.
Marc J. Spears can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org