Update from TD Garden:
- Doc Rivers confirmed that Rondo will play tonight. He said Rondo will wear some kind of brace on his elbow, but he expects the point guard to “be okay.”
- Doc also said Delonte West is just fine and that his bothersome shoulder is not a concern.
- Carlos Arroyo is active tonight to provide depth at point guard. Troy Murphy will not be in the lineup.
- Udonis Haslem, who has not played since November 20th because of a foot injury, is active for tonight’s game. It’s not clear how many minutes Spoelstra plans on giving him, but Haslem could be a potential spark for Miami. Not only can he match up defensively with Garnett, but he could provide some much-needed offense for the Heat bench.
- Joel Anthony is expected to start in place of Zydrunas Ilgauskus. Anthony, though, had already been averaging 32 minutes per game this post-season, in comparison to Big Z’s 12 minutes.
This is massive.
The C’s take the floor tonight, again, with their season effectively on the line. If the Celtics win, there’s hope for Boston basketball beyond this weekend. If not, the C’s set themselves up for, at best, three consecutive elimination games.
The good news is that this team performs best when the lights are brightest. Boston played their most heartening game of the season on Saturday night, with a season-best outing from Kevin Garnett, a remarkable turnaround for Paul Pierce (who finally checked into the series) and of course, Rajon Rondo’s astounding return from a dislocated elbow.
The bad news is that Miami will likely get more than the nothing they from Chris Bosh on Saturday. And both Dwayne Wade and Lebron James should bounce back from subpar games.
The usual keys apply: control the paint on both ends, close hard on shooters, play inside-out on offense, and push tempo. But with everyone unclear what Rondo can do tonight, this may be the game that Danny Ainge was envisioning when he signed Delonte West.
Game four. Let’s do this.