Pierce and Rondo practice
|01.05.10 at 3:24 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Where to begin with the Celtics injury situation Tuesday? Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce were on the floor taking part in practice. Kendrick Perkins and Eddie House were home with the flu. Just for good measure, injured swing man Marquis Daniels was spotted sweating through a treadmill workout while the team practiced and Kevin Garnett is definitely not playing on the road trip.
“Yeah,” Doc Rivers said to the media as they tried to sort through where to begin their questions. “The circus continues.”
The good news is that Pierce and Rondo both took part in most of the practice session Tuesday and it seems likely that they will both play Wednesday against Miami, although Pierce looks like the safer bet right now.
“They looked all right,” Rivers said. “Paul looked good. Rondo, you really couldn’t tell. He didn’t do much. So we’ll see tomorrow. I think he’s going to go but I wouldn’t write that down in pen for sure. Paul probably will go tomorrow it looks like, so that would help us a lot. Getting one of those guys back I’d be very happy and if we got both back it would be absolutely fantastic.”
Rondo left without talking to reporters for the second straight day although he did tell Yahoo!’s Marc Spears that he expects to play against the Heat. Pierce did talk and he said that while he’s not 100 percent, he’s feeling confident about returning to the court.
“I felt pretty good, “Pierce said. “I’m probably not 100 percent but it’s getting better. I got a chance to run the last couple of days on the treadmill. I’ve been shooting every day, riding the bike every day and I got a chance to come on out and practice. I’m about as confident as I’m going to be until it gets to be 100 percent.”
The biggest issue for Pierce is swelling in his knee, which he had drained twice and also developed an infection. (Go here for details).
“I talked to the doctors and the side effect is really the swelling,” he said. “The tension is gone so I’ll just continue to treat it, see how it goes and go from there.” Pierce added that he has switched to taking oral antibiotics to treat the effects of the infection.He also reiterated that he wouldn’t try to come back if he wasn’t ready to play.
“No, not at all,” he said. “I’m coming back because I feel good. That’s part of the game. Kevin’s going to be out, maybe Rondo, maybe not. I’m not really sure. I don’t feel any pressure to come back out here. I wouldn’t do that to myself. I wouldn’t do that to my body, especially at this point in my career.”
If one, or both play there is still the matter of reintegrating everyone back into the lineup. Tuesday’s practice suffered as a consequence.
“It was sloppy,” Rivers said. “I knew that coming in. we were trying to play Paul at times and take him out, Rondo for three sets and take him out. Move Tony [Allen] to the point and then move him to the [off-guard]. It was one of those days. It wasn’t sloppy because they didn’t try, but with all the changes we knew that was going to happen and unfortunately we were right.”
NOTES: The injury situation hasn’t affected anyone’s sense of humor. Pierce was asked if thought Ray Allen or House would make a better Celtics representative in the 3-point shooting contest, but he had a different player in mind: himself.
“I’ve been talking about this,” Pierce said. “I’m going to try to nominate myself. I think I’m shooting a pretty good percentage from 3. Between those two, they’re right up under me.”
He has a point. Pierce is shooting a blistering 47 percent from 3-point range, which easily leads the team.
With the Heat, the prime topic is always Dwyane Wade and Rivers offered his thoughts on the former Marquette star (guess where this is going): “I’ve always found it difficult to stop guys from Marquette,” said Rivers a notable Marquette alum. “Smart, high IQ players and good book guys too. They all go to school as well. Wade’s tough. He’s as difficult as there is because of his speed and power. Now he’s added the low elbow jump shot. He’s added so much to his game and he lives on the foul line. Our job is to not only keep him out of the paint but keep him off the foul line.”
Rivers noted that Ray Allen has done a good job defending Wade and will likely draw the assignment at the beginning.
Speaking of Ray Allen he had this to say when asked if the Celtics were looking at the standings amidst all the injuries. “I don’t worry about it,” Allen said. “It’s going to take care of itself. We feel like we’re the team to beat.”
As for Garnett, he might make the trip but he’s not playing. “Kevin is definitely not going to play,” Rivers said.