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Celtics notebook

Systems are go for Garnett

By Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / October 1, 2009

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NEWPORT, R.I. - Kevin Garnett’s right knee passed a tough test during practice yesterday. He not only went the distance in a two-hour workout, he quickly recovered from a blow to his leg to continue.

“I got kicked in the leg, I hobbled over and worked it out,’’ Garnett said. “And, two seconds later, I was back on the court. So, those are all signs of good basketball, because there’s going to be contact - I just got to play through it.

“The leg is going to tell you, or whatever is injured on you, is going to tell you that you can’t go - stop. It’s not going to be something you have to think about. I had a long talk with Tony Allen and he said, ‘Kevin, don’t think about the leg,’ and that’s what I’m trying to keep in the back of my mind. I’m not worried about anything, just getting stronger and better each day. I’m moving pretty decent.’’

Celtics coach Doc Rivers and trainer Ed Lacerte are closely monitoring the progress of Garnett, who is recovering from bone spur surgery.

“There are just certain things, not necessarily I can’t do, but just from power and strength,’’ Garnett said. “You see when I sprint I can’t get out - zzzzzz - like I really want to. But I can honestly say that each day I’m getting better and better, so 85-90 percent would be pretty accurate.

“I’m probably most excited [about] defense, being able to move laterally, recover. A guy makes a strong move and I can respond, react to that, opposed to in the past where I probably fouled or would have reached. For the most part, I can move laterally and move around defensively better than anything.

“Strength and conditioning in my leg will take patience. I pushed it to the limit, pushed it a little past the limit today, and Ed gives me that daddy look like he wants to kill me or something. But, for the most part, it’s going positive.’’

Rivers plans to limit Garnett’s participation today, though.

“He went through the entire practice,’’ Rivers said. “Tomorrow I’ll probably pull him; I may not, I don’t know. I just go by vision. If I think we’re going too hard as a group - which I’ve got to say in the last two days we’ve gone extremely hard - and he hasn’t had a lot of breaks, I’ll just pull him out.

“Sometimes, I actually wish he would [pace himself] but that’s just not in his DNA. I don’t think he has a gear, he’s just full-bore, that’s how he plays. That’s what makes him great and that’s probably what you want.’’

Raging Rondo
Garnett said guard Rajon Rondo has had his game face on in camp. “You look in his face when he’s out here playing and it’s sort of a relentless look,’’ Garnett said. “It’s a look that he’s ready, it’s a look that he’s out to prove something, like he has a little chip on his shoulder. And I told him that’s what you play with, don’t just play with it during negotiations or when you’re trying to make a point. So, I’m telling you, he looks great, to me the best-looking person in here. I’m talking about razor-sharp; if you was to slide down Rondo right now, you would probably be cut. Seriously. Strong, displaying a lot of confidence. I love him right now. He’s on point. I like the way he is. I like the cutting edge he’s bringing to the team.’’

Giving it a go
Tony Allen worked out at full speed, a day after Rivers said he would not allow Allen to participate unless he was 100 percent. “If I gotta sit up here and pass out Gatorade and towels to get another championship, that’s what I will do,’’ said Allen, who underwent ankle surgery four months ago. “There are guys on our team that don’t have rings, like Shelden Williams and Marquis Daniels, and that’s what we need to do - focus on getting another championship. I am willing to do anything it takes to get the title.’’ Allen said the ankle had been bothering him all season; he finally opted for surgery in June. It is uncertain whether he will be cleared to play in next Wednesday’s preseason opener against Houston. “My foot is all right, it’s cool,’’ Allen said. “It’s day to day, I feel. Some days are better than others.’’ Asked when he’ll know that he’s healthy, Allen said, “Whenever I dunk on Perk [Kendrick Perkins], like on a lob or something, then I know I am back, 100 percent.’’

Check him out
Bill Walker returned to Boston for an MRI on his right knee . . . Rivers on Glen Davis: “He’s in the best shape he’s been in training camp. I don’t know if he’s more motivated; he’s more mature.’’ . . . Eddie House might have been the hottest-shooting Celtic in yesterday’s scrimmages. Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck said he did not recall a House miss, but House said, “I missed a shot, in and out. I was pretty accurate. One of those regular practices.’’

Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at f_dellapa@globe.com; Gary Washburn of the Globe staff contributed to this report

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