Garnett injured

Kevin Garnett has calf strain, out only a couple weeks

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UPDATE 5:56 pm: Via the Celtics Web site, here are the quotes from Danny Ainge on the injury.

“Kevin had an MRI and a thorough examination (on Thursday) and it’s the same as last night,” said Ainge. “It’s just a muscle – I say just – but it’s a muscle injury, a strained calf. It’s actually the muscle just off the side of the leg, just below the knee, and it’s not anything to do with his knee, which is great news….”

“It’s one of those injuries that, you know, he may be out for a couple of weeks, at the most, I would say,” Ainge remarked.

“That’s my guess. You know it’s always a guess when you’re trying to see when guys come back, but I’ll just say two weeks, and I think that’s on a very conservative side.”

4:31 pm: For something that looked so bad when it happened this is about the best possible news.

Kevin Garnett has a calf strain and will miss just “a couple of weeks” Celtics GM Danny Ainge told WEEI of Boston (via Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe). The MRI results came back negative, according to the team, which confirmed the timeline.

Doc Rivers said that Glen “Big Baby” Davis would get the start in KG’s absence.

In the second quarter Wednesday against the Pistons, Garnett took a feed from Ray Allen and went up for a dunk and as he took off something seemed wrong. Garnett hung on the rim, then hobbled up court with a clearly sore right leg. He committed a foul to stop play then left the game for the remainder of the night.

It all brought back memories of the 2009 injury that robbed Garnett of the end of his season and the playoffs. Fortunately, it turned out to be far less serious.

Expect the Celtics to be cautious and take extra time bringing Garnett back, as they have done with Rajon Rondo, Jermaine O’Neal and others this season. While Boston has kept winning, their real focus has been on having a healthy and rested team come the playoffs, and they are willing to sacrifice regular season games to get that.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.

Paul George reiterates “I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot”

Paul George

In the Pacers first exhibition game of the season Saturday against the Pelicans, Paul George started at the power forward spot and looked healthy — that should be the big takeaway. He also showed off his offensive game in the first quarter, eventually finishing the night with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He forced some shots in the second half and had some defensive challenges, but it was a solid outing for a first preseason game.

George did not see it that way, and that will end up being the big takeaway.

He complained about playing power forward during training camp and given the chance after this one game he did it again, as reported by Candace Buckner of the Indy Star.

“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot,” George said after the Pacers’ 110-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a game in which he started matched up against 6-foot-11 All-Star Anthony Davis.

“I don’t know if this is my position. We’ll sit and watch tape and I’m sure I’ll talk with coach (Frank Vogel). I’ll talk with Larry (Bird) as well to get both their inputs on how the first game went but…I’m still not comfortable with it regardless of the situation. It’s still something I have to adjust to or maybe not. Or maybe it’s something we can go away from.”

George sees himself as a wing, where he has played his entire career. He doesn’t like defending traditional fours, as a scorer he doesn’t like expending all that energy defending pick-and-rolls and banging with bigger bodies. He’s been clear about that.

He still needs to be open to the idea. How much time George gets at the four on any given night should depend on the matchup — and Anthony Davis is about as rough a matchup as he is going to see. Davis scored 18 points in 15 minutes, and the Pelicans controlled the paint against the small-ball Pacers. George had a hard time defending Davis — welcome to a rather large club, PG. That said, George scored 12 points in the first quarter mostly with Davis on him, he pulled the big out in space and got what he wanted.

Back to the matchups point, George will struggle defensively against the best fours in the game (most of whom are in the West). But what about the nights in the East when George would be matched up on Thaddeus Young from Brooklyn, Jared Sullinger (or David Lee, or whoever) from Boston, or Aaron Gordon with the Magic, or Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks when they play small? There are a lot of lineups the Pacers will see where George at the four makes sense.

The Pacers are transitioning from a plodding and defensive-minded squad to a more up-tempo style, and that’s going to take time— a lot more than one preseason game. However, if George is throwing cold water on the plan after this one effort, it might take a lot longer and be a lot bumpier to make that transition than we pictured.