BOSTON Doc Rivers plans to play his usual cast of players tonight with the exception being Darko Milicic.
The 7-foot big man re-aggravated a right wrist injury in Boston's 107-75 preseason loss at Philadelphia.
Milicic told CSNNE.com that he would receive a cortisone shot tonight. Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that Milicic would miss tonight's game against Brooklyn in addition to Thursday's game on the road against the Nets in Brooklyn.
"It'll be better after the shot," Milicic said.
Limiting Milicic's play between now and the start of the season makes sense when you consider Boston will go into the season opener at Miami on Oct. 30 with at least one player (Avery Bradley) out and possibly another (Chris Wilcox).
Bradley isn't expected back until the middle of December while Wilcox (back) is out indefinitely.
Wilcox's injury has opened the door for Milicic to log most of the minutes as Kevin Garnett's backup at center.
And to his credit, Milicic has made the most of his opportunity to play consistent minutes which is why he is so eager to get back on the floor.
"I just want to keep playing," Milicic told CSNNE.com. "Like I told you earlier, all I want to do is help this team win; do whatever I can."
BOSTON – Before Brad Stevens addressed the media before the Celtics faced the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday afternoon, he had to take a moment to make sure he wouldn’t forget anyone who wasn’t able to play.
Yeah, the list was a pretty long one.
Tyler Zeller, Demetrius Jackson and Jonas Jerebko will not play tonight due to sickness. And Avery Bradley (right Achilles strain) will also be out with a timetable that’s starting to feel like it’ll be longer than anyone would want.
“I don’t anticipate Avery this week at all,” Stevens said. “He still has some soreness. Obviously we’re concerned about the long-term impact of a sore Achilles; what it means on that foot but also what it means when you compensate off it. But he’ll be back when he’s ready but I think he’s still a little bit away.”
Bradley, the team’s top on-the-ball defender and No. 2 scorer this season at 17.7 points per game, will be out for the sixth time in the Celtics’ last seven games because of the Achilles injury.
Replacing him in the starting lineup will be Marcus Smart whose status for tonight’s game wasn’t a sure thing.
On the Celtics’ pregame notes package, Smart was listed as probable with a sore right ankle injury. I asked Stevens about Smart’s status a few minutes ago, and he said the 6-foot-4 Smart will play tonight.
In his 15 starts this season, Smart has averaged 10.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists while shooting 38.4 percent from the field and 31.7 percent on 3's - all of which are better than what he produces when coming off the bench.
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