C's roll out Big Three: Pierce, Garnett, Green

C's roll out Big Three: Pierce, Garnett, Green
April 13, 2013, 7:00 pm
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ORLANDO, Fla. — Tonight's game against Orlando will feature the Boston Celtics' Big Three triumvirate of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jeff Green.

Pierce and Garnett did not play in Friday night's loss at Miami because of sore left ankles.

Green had a game-high 25 points against the Heat, but suffered a left elbow injury that raised some concerns about his availability tonight.

In the absence of Garnett and Pierce, Green has been a dominant force scoring the ball.

But when paired with them, Green's aggression - and not just his point totals - seems to take a dip as well.

Figuring out how to get that ultra-aggressive play from Green on the floor more consistently with the C's two best players, will be one of the many challenges ahead for Doc Rivers in the coming days leading up to the playoffs.

"I don't know how many games we'll play them, honestly," Rivers said. "I'm not looking for anything with them. I just want them to play; I think they need to play a game here and there, get ready for the playoffs. But I'm not looking for any like signs or anything like that. That's going to be our lineup."

With the two remaining games after tonight being a back-to-back against Indiana and at Toronto, Rivers said he would most likely sit Pierce and/or Garnett in at least one of those games.

"Obviously we have to take care of things," Rivers said. "If we do, that makes it an easy decision. If we don't, it makes it a very difficult decision."

If the Celtics win tonight, they will secure the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. Even if the C's won their remaining three games and the team ahead of them - Chicago - lost its remaining three games and thus finished in a regular season tie, the Bulls would get the higher seed because they would win the tie-breaker.

The two split the regular season series 2-2, but the Bulls will have a better Conference record regardless of what happens the rest of the regular season. Conference record is the next criterion used in determining whether the C's or the Bulls would get the higher seeding if they finished in a tie.

The only way the Celtics could drop to No. 8 would be for them to lose their remaining three games and the Milwaukee Bucks win their remaining games.

That would create a tie for seventh, but the Bucks would get the higher seed because they won the head-to-head series, 3-1 this season.