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CELTICS NOTEBOOKAn inordinate number of Kevin Garnett's shots rolled off the rim.

As willing as he was, explosion seemed to be lacking from the Celtics forward's game during an 83-78 loss to the Orlando Magic last night.

Get used to it. Any player recovering from surgery will go through these trials, according to Doc Rivers.

``No he's not (finishing),'' said the Celtics coach. ``One day he's explosive, one day he's not, one day he's healthy, one day he's not, and that's just gonna take time. Coming into the year, obviously you would want him to be explosive if you could pick tonight. Tomorrow we don't need you.

``But you could see that today,'' he said. ``It takes time. Some days you have legs, some days you don't. It's your back. It doesn't matter what the injury is, almost. That's just how it works.''

Garnett wasn't alone in his inability to finish last night. Rasheed Wallace was 4-for-16 from the floor, and 0-for-8 from his domain - 3-point range.

``It's just a matter of hitting some shots,'' said Wallace. ``Every player goes through it. Whether it's 2-pointers or 3-pointers or layups or foul shots, everyone goes through it. The heart of that player will determine how he plays. I'm not going to let the 3s get me down - `Oh, I'm missing a couple of 3s, I don't want to do this no more.' No, I'm out there playing Basketball.''

In Perk's defense

As the seasons pass, Dwight Howard is going to get tired of the Kendrick Perkins question, and just exactly where the Celtics center rates as a defender.

But the Orlando center also knows the issue won't die.

``He is a great defender,'' Howard said before recording a nine-point, 15-rebound performance - much of it while Perkins wallowed on the bench in foul trouble.

``I'd say he's probably one of the best low-post defenders in the game today, and he's underrated, but he's gotten better from his first year to now,'' he said. ``He's a big body, a traditional center, and he knows how to use his body well.''

Howard gave part of the credit to Celtics big man coach Clifford Ray, who was also Howard's first NBA tutor.

``Coach Ray has taught him about all of my moves in the book. He does a good job and the other guys on that team shrink the floor, so that makes it real tough. They don't double team as much as other teams do, but they sit in the paint and they make it tough to get into the paint, because they know that I want to get in there.''

See the son rise

Rivers also was living a dream of another sort yesterday. He turned on ``SportsCenter'' to the sight of his son Jeremiah, who is a point guard at Indiana, making the top plays reel with a reverse scoop during the Hoosiers' 89-71 loss to Mississippi on Thursday.

``That was nice,'' he said. ``I watched the game last night, so it was great to see him play. He played really well. The one thing you don't want your kids doing is striving to be on the `Top 10' on `SportsCenter' because that means it was something fancy. But it was good for him. Sitting out a year, it was really good for him.''

Unbeknownst to Rivers at the time of this statement, Indiana was in the process of losing to BU. . . .

Best wishes go out to Steve Nazzaro, who has headed the Celtics scoring crew for the better part of the last 30 years. Nazzaro, who is suffering from a lengthy illness, was recently admitted to the Lahey-Hitchcock Clinic.

Read the Celtics Insider at bostonherald.com.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 22, 2009


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