Rondo (hip) questionable for Grizzlies game

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Rondo (hip) questionable for Grizzlies game

WALTHAM Just as the Celtics prepare to welcome one guard back, they may find themselves having to go to battle without their best one.

Rajon Rondo is still battling a right hip injury suffered against the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 27 after a hip-check from Matt Barnes, and he is questionable for Thursday's game against Memphis.

Rondo missed the C's loss at Golden State only to return for the following game at Sacramento where it was clear that the injury had a major impact on his performance.

"When you get beat down the court by a big, it's frustrating," Rondo said. "My style of play, I can't play as quick as I want to (with the injury)."

And that puts the C's in the precarious position of trying to figure out if Rondo at less than full strength is better than no Rondo at all.

As far as how the injury impacted his play in the Kings loss, C's coach Doc Rivers pointed out how the boxscore told the story.

"When his guy (Isaiah Thomas) scores 27 and he (Rondo) scores two, I think that tells you basically all you need to know," Rivers said. "He couldn't move much."

And the C's decision to hold him out of practice on Wednesday means he won't be moving around much today, making it truly a game-time decision as to whether he will face the Grizzlies.

"We talked after the game and I couldn't give an answer as to whether he was helping or hurting the team with the way he was moving," Rivers said. "But you want him on the floor. It's a tough call."

Also challenging will be the decision to rest him, and whether that's what is needed in order for his currently injury to heal properly.

The one clear upside in sitting Rondo for Wednesday's game is that the C's won't play again until Friday, which would provide Rondo with additional time to heal.

"If that's what it takes," said Rivers who added, "but it's not anything he could further injure. I always look at two things; that's one. The other is if it limits him, how quickly can he get healthy by not playing? So if someone says if he doesn't play for three days, he'll get healthier or if you play it doesn't matter. It'll take a week or so. That's what we'll decide by tomorrow."

If Rondo is unable to play, this would be the fifth game he has missed this season. The Celtics are 1-3 without him.

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

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Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.