Celtics notebook

Kevin Garnett still shaking off rust

Kevin Garnett fought with the Nets’ Kris Humphries for a loose ball Wednesday.
Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff
Kevin Garnett fought with the Nets’ Kris Humphries for a loose ball Wednesday.

Kevin Garnett is still rusty from sitting out eight games.

“Absolutely,” he said after the Celtics’ 101-93 loss Wednesday to the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden. “I can be better. And I will be.”

Garnett scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 28 minutes in his second game back in the lineup after being sidelined with inflammation in his left ankle.


And it isn’t one area Garnett thinks he needs to work on more than the others.

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“I can be better in every part of my game,” he said. “It’s not just one decisive thing. Obviously, my timing is off a little bit. I’ll get that. I’m super anxious around the basket. I’m hurrying shots.”

In the second half against the Nets, Garnett said he was more decisive.

He scored 9 points on 4-of-5 shooting after halftime.

“Sometimes, I play against myself a little bit, but in the second half I thought I did a better job of just settling in, taking my shots, being more aggressive,” he said.


Coach Doc Rivers said Garnett looked OK.

“He didn’t play great, but he looked fine,” Rivers said. “I’ll take that. Like even late in the fourth, post him up, it was a great move, he just didn’t make it. Now, that’s the guy that you may say you’ve got to work through your rust a little bit.”

High praise

P.J. Carlesimo’s opinion of Jeff Green was once low.

“I thought, honestly, coming out of Georgetown, he was not a very good player,” the Nets coach said before the game.

“But his rookie year, he got excellent coaching, and ever since then he’s really taken off.”


Let’s stop there to mention that Carlesimo was Green’s coach during his rookie season — 2007-08 in Seattle.

All jokes aside, Carlesimo, who also coached for a season in Oklahoma City, gushed about how the forward has recently emerged, especially after sitting out a year following open-heart surgery.

“He’s one of my favorite guys I’ve ever coached,” Carlesimo said. “He’s just a first-class individual and it’s really good to see someone come back from the challenges that he had to come back from.”

Green, who entered Wednesday night averaging 20.6 points on 56 percent shooting in his last 12 games but had just 11 points on 4-for-17 shooting against the Nets, said he had fond memories of playing for Carlesimo.

“He made me have thick skin,” Green said. “He helped me realize it’s a business and in order to get where I want to be I had to work harder than I originally was. He’s one of a kind and I enjoyed being a player of his.”

Joseph is back

Kris Joseph, whom the Celtics selected in the second round last year out of Syracuse, returned to the Garden for the first time as a visitor.

Joseph went back and forth between the Celtics and the Maine Red Claws early in the season before the Celtics waived him Jan. 6.

Joseph signed as a free agent with the Red Claws in February, then was traded to the Nets’ D-League team, the Springfield Armor. The Nets signed him last week.

“I think he has NBA ability,” Rivers said. “I just think he’s going to have to get to a point where he can do it every night and have the toughness and the focus to do it every night.”

Joseph entered the game to minimal applause in the fourth quarter. He was scoreless in three minutes.

Baxter Holmes can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @BaxterHolmes