Thursday, February 04, 2010

Kevin Garnett: Team not pointing fingers

By Mark Murphy  / Celtics Notebook

Kevin Garnett, like Richard Nixon, wanted to make one thing perfectly clear last night.
Despite Rajon Rondo [stats]’s comments in yesterday’s Herald about an upswing in personal agendas on the Celtics [team stats], Garnett insisted there is no “finger-pointing” within the team.
Though Rondo was asked about his comments following last night’s 107-102 win against Miami, Garnett swooped in and took the bullet for his teammate, who remained silent.

“I’m not speaking for him, but on this team we have a lot of strong personalities,” he said. “I remember last year when we lost to Portland - lost three straight - I could just sense that everybody within themselves was just trying to do more than they should or (were) reverting back to being leaders on their team versus the way we have been doing it.
“When I read the comments, or when I talked to him personally . . . that’s what it was. We aren’t a team here that points fingers. We keep everyone accountable. Everyone knows what this is within the locker room. But if anything needs to be said, it will be said within the closed confinements of the locker room and among each other as men.
“I want everyone in here to respect that, all right?”
Daniels closer
Marquis Daniels is scheduled for his first true test today - a full-contact practice in which his surgically repaired left thumb will be fair game.
Indeed, the swingman wants someone to hit the joint early to get the inevitable out of the way.
“I’m kind of inviting that,” Daniels said. “But I’m still nervous about it, too. I just want to get my timing down.”
Coach Doc Rivers is concerned about Daniels’ ability to blend.
Based on a light practice yesterday, Daniels had a significant distance to cover in terms of his basketball sense, more specifically, regrasping how the Celtics do things.
“The one that concerns me the most is Marquis because he hasn’t been with our team,” Rivers said. “He went through some stuff today with the guys, and clearly he doesn’t know our stuff anymore. That’s the biggest concern.”
Daniels likely will return Feb. 10 in New Orleans, although there’s an outside shot he could go Sunday against Orlando.
“He wants to play right away, but someone will have to convince me of that,” Rivers said. “I’m hoping New Orleans. That would be a great game for him because then we have Monday and Tuesday for practice.
“There’s a chance he could play Sunday. But if Paul (Pierce) can’t play on Sunday, I’m not going to push Marquis into duty just to play him.”

Allen starts
Tony Allen, who has been playing some of the best basketball of his career, started in place of Pierce (left foot strain).
This was a mixed blessing for Rivers. “Tony’s been terrific,” he said. “I like him off the bench more than in the starting lineup because he’s an energy guy. It takes that away from the bench, and now we’ll have to look for someone else to do that. I also like someone off the bench against Miami because you need someone to watch (Dwyane) Wade and then come in and play Wade.”
Allen had six points and six rebounds in 27 minutes. Wade collected a game-high 30 points to go with 13 assists.


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