Ghosts of Years Past
No matter how many months have passed since last season's 27-27 regular season finish, the Ghosts of Years Past lurk in the background like a preying tiger.
Afraid of Kevin Garnett reinjuring himself? Down he went with an injury to the same right knee, which looked exactly the same as his 2009 injury. The diagnosis was almost the exact same, as was the pained (and fearful) expression on his face, as is the guessing about his return. Garnett and the team swear he's okay, and I believe them. But man, that injury scared me. The C's can't win a championship without their heart and soul.
Afraid of a relapse of last season's .500 finish? Enter the annual January swoon, which leaves the Celtics looking like zombies and their opponents -- no matter how bad -- leaving the TD Garden with victory in hand. Look no further than last night, when the Celtics decided to remain in the locker room rather than play the Houston Rockets. When Patrick Patterson and Jordan Hill outplay your frontcourt (and pretty severely), you might as well concede victory. At the very least, your frontcourt's players should look deep within their souls and ponder their very existence.
Speaking of the Celtics' front-court...
Afraid of Rasheed Wallace's return? The 6'11" former Celtic -- who would rather launch miserable three-pointers than make beautiful low-post music, and who believes an offseason workout means "getting off the couch" -- reportedly told Stephen A. Smith he wants to return... to the Boston Celtics. Never mind that the Celtics have no open roster spots, and Sheed's return would mean the C's would need to cut someone. Never mind that Sheed probably hasn't touched a basketball since Game Seven. Never mind that much of Sheed's one season in Boston was a certified disaster. Never mind that the C's already have three centers, and that Kendrick Perkins will make four. Never mind that Doc Rivers says the Celtics haven't had any internal discussions about adding Sheed. Sheed wants back, and he wants to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, and he's plotting a comeback to the C's. At least according to Stephen A. Smith, who may or may not be considered reliable in matters such as these.
I'm not saying the Celtics, and their fans, should concern themselves with these coincidences. Not yet, at least. But the Ghosts of Years Past keep resurfacing, and it's a little unsettling. Where's Peter Venkman when you need him?
After the jump, Kevin Garnett misses practice (and is doubtful for Wednesday night), Kendrick Perkins returns to practice, and Delonte West shoots around.
Kevin Garnett misses practice
Originally, lest you forget, Rivers thought Garnett would play either yesterday (obviously, that boat has sailed away) or tomorrow (that boat is now ready to depart, without Garnett on board). Hopefully the Celtics are only being cautious, and Garnett hasn't experienced any setbacks since blogging that he was "real close to getting back" a few days ago. Rivers did maintain Garnett is still close to a return, listing him as "day-to-day."
Kendrick Perkins practices
Kendrick Perkins was recently cleared for contact drills, and returned to practice today. But Rivers wouldn't let him experience any contact in his first full session back to practice. According to the Boston Herald, Perk participated in skeleton drills (which he's already done before) and later completed an individual workout.
Perk's rehab has gone well, and the Celtics could use his impact. For a time, when Shaq set the clocks back a couple years and the Celtics actually thought Jermaine O'Neal was worth the mid-level exception, Perk's return looked like it might almost be excessive. But Shaq's production has slowed down, and JO has scored in double figures only twice as a Celtic. Yes, that's right. Only twice. And now, we know, the Celtics need Perk far more than we originally believed.
Delonte West shoots around