The pain is now on Rivers and the Celtics as they try to rework a rotation that will welcome Kevin Garnett back after a one-game absence (bruised right thigh). According to a couple of players, Tony Allen was getting the first-team reps yesterday, but Rivers was noncommittal on a new starter.
The coach said the team would compensate with a lot of guys.
"Scal (Brian Scalabrine), Tony, Ray (Allen) at the 3 and Eddie (House) at the 2," Rivers said. "It’s not something we’ve worked on a whole bunch. The tough part with Paul’s injury is that Marquis (Daniels) is out as well, so our two 3s are basically out of the game. We’ve just got to make an adjustment and go out and play. Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. I guarantee you that."
Bruised Kevin Garnett will play today
Here's an update on Kevin Garnett's status.
[Kevin] Garnett was soaked with sweat after going through an additional shooting session after the team workout.
"I’m feeling all right," he said. "I sustained something in the Memphis game and was able to play through it the game after and a couple of games. But it got to the point where it was stiffening on me, and Doc and some of the med guys just thought it would be best for me to sit down. Doc’s a big precaution guy, and I’m trying to be a lot more patient these days with that."
Pierce’s absence not huge pain for Celtics
Frank Dell'Apa of The Boston Globe talks more about the repercussions of Pierce's injury and what the Celtics' plan on doing to deal the situation.
[Glen] Davis "was just as shocked as everybody else’’ about Pierce’s injury. Bill Walker, called up from the Maine Red Claws to fill Pierce’s roster spot, said, "I thought somebody was joking.’’
"He’s always at practice, he’s always taking care of his body, he’s always in games,’’ Ray Allen said. "For him not to be out here, I know it’s got to be very significant.
"Paul’s our leading scorer. It’s definitely going to affect us, but we can only play five guys at a time. So other guys are going to have to step up and play big for us. We have to be more efficient, our mistakes have to become a lot fewer.’’
Orlando faces Boston in the first-ever Christmas Day game between the teams.
Brian Schmitz talks about how it's been a rare occurrence for the Orlando Magic and Boston to meet each other at full strength at any point in time.
Before sustaining a regular-season-ending shoulder injury, Nelson played only one game against the Celtics last season -- on Jan. 22 at Amway Arena. And that was the last time both teams had all their starters healthy for their matchups.
Garnett played in three of the four games but was hobbled and missed the entire postseason because a knee injury.
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy is not one to make excuses when players become unavailable. But even he is amazed at how the Orlando-Boston series seldom has had perfect attendance.
"Very rarely are both teams at full strength," Van Gundy said. "Both teams have been able to win short-handed. I don't put a lot of confidence in the fact that Paul will be out."
The Time is Now for Tony Allen
Greg Payne of CelicsBlog elaborates on what Pierce's absence means for Tony Allen, who will see an uptick in minutes as a result.
What They're Saying Before the Orlando Magic Face off Against the Boston Celtics