WALTHAM The role that Keyon Dooling has played for the Boston Celtics this season has been more about motivation than minutes played.
That's likely to change tonight as the Boston Celtics try to move on to the Eastern Conference finals, but first they have to dispose of the pesky Philadelphia 76ers in a winner-moves-on Game 7 tilt.
Dooling's role will be expanded due to Avery Bradley's season-ending shoulder surgery on Friday.
A 12-year veteran, Dooling takes pride in being ready for any and every opportunity to play. However, his status was a bit up in the air when he was too sick to practice on Friday.
There he was, on the Celtics' practice court Saturday morning, doing all he could to prepare for the most important game of the season both for him and the Celtics. While Dooling is considered a game-time decision, the veteran guard is expected to see some action tonight.
Teammates have lauded Dooling for his professionalism and ability to communicate effectively with both the team's young players and the veterans.
The respect that Dooling's teammates have for him stems from his work ethic, both in practice and off the court.
That means very little at this point in the season.
With Bradley out, the Celtics need Dooling to provide the kind of on-the-ball pressure that they'll be missing with Bradley's absence.
With Ray Allen struggling with his shot, the Celtics could also benefit from Dooling knocking down an open jumper or two as well.