Systems are go for Garnett
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.’’
Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; Gary Washburn of the Globe staff contributed to this report