Kevin Garnett is out for the Celtics Monday night vs. the Miami Heat. Garnett is dealing with a groin injury, but the larger reason for his absence is an illness, according to Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
“He’s got a terrible flu or whatever,” said Rivers. “We thought the combination was too much to play. Right when I looked at him I said, ‘You’re not playing.’ He wanted to play.”
Jeff Green will get the start in Garnett’s absence, leaving the Celtics without a true center in the starting lineup. Rivers said he wasn’t going to alter his preparation too much without Garnett.
“It doesn’t change,” said Rivers. “It’s the same game plan. We’re smaller, obviously. We have to try to rebound. Neither team’s a great rebounding team, but someone’s going to have to get a rebound. I’m hoping it’s us.”
Rivers said he’ll send his guards to the defensive glass to help. He said he expects Garnett to be on the plane to New Orleans Tuesday. The Celtics play the Hornets Wednesday night.
Here are tonight’s starting lineups:
Avery Bradley, G
Courtney Lee, G
Paul Pierce, F
Jeff Green, F
Brandon Bass, F/C
Mario Chalmers, G
Dwyane Wade, G
LeBron James, F
Chris Bosh, F
Udonis Haslem, C
Some other notes:
- Rivers said a decision has not yet been made on renewing the 10-day contracts of Shavlik Randolph and D.J. White.
- Tonight is the five-year anniversary of the Celtics snapping the Houston Rockets’ 22-game winning streak. Ray Allen did not play in that game. Leon Powe scored 21 points off the bench.
- Wade was asked before the game if he hated the Celtics and responded emphatically and quickly, “Yes.” Asked if he thought Bradley was a “pest” on defense, Wade replied, “He’s not a pest. He’s a really good defensive player.”