A few news and notes to go over as the C’s prepare for their final home game before the All-Star break Wednesday. Doc Rivers spoke to reporters for over 15 minutes at practice to go over the mash unit which is his roster right now. Let’s start from the top with an assist from Greg Payne over at ESPNBoston.com on the quotes.
Paul Pierce: Ryan passed along the good news later today about the captain’s MRI coming back negative and his diagnosis of a sprained foot, but Doc gave us a little more insight during the practice about what exactly the injury stems from and how the team will proceed with him on Wednesday. Surprisingly with the C’s luck this year, nearly all the news about his sprained hand and bruised foot was good for a change.
“He’s good, it’s OK. Everything’s good. I think there’s bruising, obviously, swelling, but everything he can play with. That was very good.”
Could The Injury Gets Worse?
“We don’t know that,” said Rivers. “They said ‘No,’ really. It’s just one of those things where if someone hits you with a baseball bat on your arm, it’s just going to take time to heal. That’s what happened. He got kicked a couple games ago in his foot, (against Charlotte) and then he got hit on the hand the same way in the same game, and they both are reacting. Obviously, the break is coming at a great time. We have one game left. For precaution, just so nobody kicks him or hits him, we’re not going to practice him tomorrow either, which will be difficult for Paul because he likes to practice. We’ll play him in the game and I know the coach of the All-Star game, so he probably won’t play a lot in that game.”
Doc also noted that he was more concerned about the hand injury since Pierce was more likely to take hits in this area during a game. With that said, very encouraging to hear Pierce likely just needing a few days of rest here, which he’ll get to get over the ailments. The team couldn’t afford anything less at this juncture.
Delonte West: Here’s Doc on the return of his primary backup point guard to action:
“Delonte’s going to play,” said Rivers. “The only thing is, obviously, if [Tuesday] he goes through the practice and it gets sore, and then we’ll pull him. Because, if it’s to a point where it’s not right, I’m not going to play him. [West's timing and stamina] will not be right [immediately], that’s why it’d be great to get him one game, so when we go out west, he’s already had the one game out of the way. He’ll also understand how far he is away, probably, with timing and stamina and it’ll give him a gauge on how much he has to work.”
Doc had mentioned a 10 minute limit for West earlier in the week, but admitted “we’re going to hope more” especially given the team’s injury situation. Rivers also emphasized that West would be the team’s primary point guard, saying Nate Robinson has had the ball in his hands far too much on the floor the past couple months, something we all know far too well.
Semih Erden: Encouraging news about the Turk, as the seven-footer has progressed with his strained abductor in past few days and is hopeful to play next week in Golden State unless “it turns the other way.”
Shaquille O’Neal: Less promising news about the Diesel, as Rivers explained the injury still wasn’t healing like they would have hoped.
“Shaq, honestly, it’s just not healing right now,” said Rivers. “We’re hoping after the [All-Star] break at some point, obviously. When he first injured it we all thought it was a one- or two-game thing, and now it’s been longer, and now it’s getting to the point where we’re not sure if he’ll play on the west coast trip or not. We’re hoping he will. Right now we think he will, maybe not every game, maybe we play him every other game, but if we had to play today, I don’t know if Shaq could play today.”
Jermaine O’Neal: Some positive words by Rivers about the injured center and his attitude with his rehabilitation.
“He’s doing great, honestly,” said Rivers. “I think he feels really happy that he did the surgery. You can tell it’s a race with him, because he wants to get back so he can try to help us.”
Marquis Daniels: It sounds like we will have an official decision on his status for the rest of the year later this week, according to Doc:
“They’re going to do an evaluation and then they’re going to have to make a decision on where they go from there,” Rivers said.
Finally Kevin Garnett updated his latest blog over at ANTA, which you can read in full HERE Interesting excerpt referencing how Semih’s injury is due to a problem from all the way back at the World Championships in August.
Losing to the Lakers at home is not a good feeling. We had a big lead and couldn’t finish it off. Losing Nate during the game, really left us short handed. No excuses, we just didn’t play team ball at the end. We owe them one.
Having a couple days in between games, was needed. My body is holding up, but an extra day of rest is always welcome.
Doc had us watch film and is getting us focused on the time after the All Star break. It goes by quick, so we need to be firing on all cylinders come April.
Played the Heat today and got it done! Rondo had a triple double and it was a low scoring game. I feel as though these games work to our advantage, because we grind games out! I was emotionally involved in this game and didn’t even realize I had 5 fouls at one point. I get a rush doing the things I’m supposed to do to get our team a win. Right now we have 10 healthy bodies. Shaq is working hard, Jermaine just had surgery, Semih has some lingering issues from the World Championships and Delonte should be back soon from his broken wrist.
Can’t wait to get the troops in line for the Championship run!
We play Wednesday against NJ and then headed to LA for the All Star game.
Keep following and let’s hope P2 and Ray end up going head to head in the 3point contest during ALL STAR weekend! Paul’s the defending champ, so Ray has some work to do.