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Rivers: Rajon Rondo may be in more pain than Game 4

05.11.11 at 6:32 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo

MIAMI — Rajon Rondo will play in Game 5 despite a painful dislocated left elbow, as expected, but Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he will keep a close watch on Rondo.

“In some way I think he’s in more pain than he was going into Game 4, but I think he at least has an idea on how to deal with it more,” Rivers said. “We’re hoping that he can give us something and if he can’t then we’ll have to make a decision on the floor.”

Rivers is most concerned about the defensive end where he feels the Heat took advantage by forcing him into difficult positions on help defense.

“A lot of times the guy that’s been in the help spot, that requires a physicality and he literally couldn’t do it,” Rivers said. “We thought it opened up too many driving lanes for them. We have to try a couple of things. First, keep him out of those positions if possible, and two he just has to do it, and if not then we have to make a decision.”

Rivers will turn to Delonte West if that’s the case who had a strong performance in Game 4. Carlos Arroyo is also active.

Shaquille O’Neal, Avery Bradley and Sasha Pavlovic are inactive for the Celtics. Even without Shaq there’s no guarantee that Nenad Krstic will see more playing time. He didn’t play in either of the last two games.

“We may shorten the rotation more,” Rivers said. “You’re always walking the fine line with Kevin [Garnett] because he’s the only guy that’s been on a minutes restriction the last two years. So, if we can keep his minutes to the right where he’s still effective we may shorten it, but if not you may see Nenad.”

For the Heat, Udonis Haslem is active again, although he may not have much of a role after his short, but eventful, stretch in his return in Game 4 when he badly missed a jumper, committed a pair of fouls and picked up a technical foul.

“The most important thing when I made the decision to activate him was because of his leadership,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Read More: Delonte West, Game 5, nenad krstic, Rajon Rondo
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