MIAMI — Whenever any member of the Boston Celtics comes up limping, holding a limb or heads to the bench visibly in pain, it's reason to be concerned.
Fortunately for the C's, the left elbow injury suffered by Jeff Green in Boston's 109-101 loss at Miami Friday night doesn't appear to be an injury that will sideline him.
"I don't think it's that bad," said coach Doc Rivers, who added that he expects Green to play Saturday night against the Orlando Magic. "I honestly don't think it's that bad."
Green, who still led all players with 25 points, didn't seem overly concerned about the injury after the loss.
"I hit the nerve," Green said. "Anytime you hit the nerve, it goes up and down the arm and it wouldn't come back as fast I wanted it to, but I'm fine."
Green dunked the ball and said Heat big man Chris Andersen was defending when Green said he felt "[Andersen's] feet undercut mine."
He added, "I know it wasn't on purpose."
Having Green healthy for Saturday's game bodes well for the Celtics chances of winning. The challenge for him will be to blend his game in with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett - both sat out Friday's game and may play at Orlando on Saturday - and do so in a manner in which he remains aggressive.
"When guys miss games, it allows us to get our confidence up, to play free," Green said.
Rivers was pleased with what he saw out of Green against the Heat.
"I thought Jeff was great," Rivers said. "He attacked early on. I thought they did a good job after that of clogging it up. And I thought Jeff made plays and we missed shots. The more we missed, the more they could clog it up to take away his drives. But I could not have been happier with the first half of Jeff."
The second half?
Although Green's numbers in the second half - 13 points on 4-for-8 shooting - would give the impression that he was better, Green - like most of the C's - couldn't put together enough strong plays or defensive stops in order to close the gap with the Heat, who continue to pull away with the already-established best record in the East this season.
"As they made a run, we stopped attacking," Rivers said. "And each guy tried to make plays. Overall, I was happy with the effort. But like I told them in a time-out, I need two things. I need your effort, which I thought our team did a tremendous job. I need your minds, too. I need you to think, too. That's the area that we just have to keep improving in."