The C’s held a brief open practice this afternoon in Waltham. We will start with the latest from there on the walking wounded front with the sometimes durable Jermaine O’Neal being the latest to wind up again on the DL. Problems with his right knee arose this past week and he missed practice for an MRI. Here’s more via ESPNBoston:
Coach Doc Rivers initially suggested that the MRI was on O’Neal’s left knee and was a regularly scheduled visit to monitor the chronic injury (he also suffered a bone bruise on his left knee cap last month in the first meeting with Orlando). The team later clarified it was the right knee.
Results were not immediately available and the team will determine his game status after a closed walkthrough on the TD Garden floor on Sunday morning.
This is honestly partially good news, given how poorly he played for most of Friday night. (A mea culpa from me as well on the lack of grades Friday night, which was my fault and not Brendan’s. They will return as scheduled tomorrow afternoon.) With Chris Wilcox coming on strong, Jermaine shouldn’t be missed too much in the interim, although guarding Marc Gasol tomorrow without him will be a chore.
Marquis Daniels and Keyon Dooling also did not practice, and it appears Dooling may be the next guy back in uniform if he can manage to play for a couple days pain-free. Here’s Doc again via Chris Forsberg:
“Keyon is close, but he just can’t breakthrough,” said Rivers. “We thought he’d be back a couple games ago and he did some stuff and got sore again, so we just don’t know.”
Finally, a refreshing take from Rajon Rondo on his rusty and lackluster play last night after a two week absence. Given how much he hasn’t been able to do with a right wrist injury, the fact he came back without even a practice was a testament to the team’s trust in him, but a side effect of the team really having no practice time with this schedule to work himself into shape. Here’s his raw take on his tough night on Friday: (Via Forsberg)
“I try not to get too down, too negative on myself, but I was pretty [bad] last night,” he said. “Realistically, I haven’t touched a ball since Toronto because of the wrist. I’m a right-handed player, so I couldn’t shoot free throws. I beat myself up because I missed three free throws and because of the turnovers I made. I wasn’t strong [enough] to make the pass. That was the sacrifice I made to go out there and play.”
A couple more games to help Rajon re-integrate himself into the offense and get more comfortable with his shooting should work wonders for this team in its quest to get back into the top half of the Eastern Conference. Until then, it could be some more choppiness offensively like we saw Friday night.
We’re back tomorrow morning with the Grizz preview.