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Kevin Garnett likely out Tuesday when Celtics play Knicks

Mar 25, 2013, 1:18 PM EST

Kevin Garnett AP

Kevin Garnett had an MRI on his injured ankle and the good news nothing showed up that was all that alarming.

However, it’s serious enough that Doc Rivers said he is almost certainly out on Tuesday when the Celtics play the Knicks and it could be more games than that, reports A. Sherrod Blakely at CSNNE.com.

“I don’t think Kevin is playing tomorrow; I’m almost positive of that,” Rivers said. “But what we want to make sure is that he’s going to be good soon…”

When asked if he thought Garnett would be out long term, Rivers said, “I don’t know what long-term is. If you mean that he’s not going to play this year? No, I don’t worry about that. But can he miss four or five games? Yeah, that’s probably possible. I don’t know that. So to me, that’s not a concern.”

Not ideal. Boston did get some good news in that Courtney Lee’s ankle sprain is not severe and he could start against the Knicks if called on.

Boston dreams of another run like last year’s playoffs, where they came together at the right time and made it all the way to the conference finals. But that is not happening without a healthy Kevin Garnett — Boston is a defense first team and they allow just 96.6 points per 100 possessions when he is on the floor (that would be second best in the NBA for the season) but it jumps six points to 103.7 when he is off the court (tied for 19th in the NBA with the Rockets).

Which means it’s better to take some potential losses and get him right now and have him right for the games that matter. The key is not giving up the two-game lead Boston has over the 8-seed Bucks — nobody wants to face Miami in the first round.

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