LOS ANGELES Every one of the Boston Celtics' starting five played more minutes than usual in their 97-94 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
But there's only one Celtic - Kevin Garnett - whose playing time will likely drop when the C's face the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.
Garnett, who averages just under 31 minutes per game this season, played slightly more than 35 in the Lakers loss.
With a veteran team, Rivers understands all too well how questions about fatigue will sprout up, especially in back-to-back situations.
But it doesn't appear to be something that Rivers is losing any sleep over.
"Kobe (Bryant) plays a lot of minutes, and I don't think it worries Mike Brown a whole bunch," Rivers said. "Our guys are pretty good."
Ray Allen, who played just under 39 minutes, is among the best-conditioned athletes in the NBA. Ditto for Rajon Rondo who logged just over 40 minutes.
Brandon Bass has spent the bulk of this season coming off the bench, so playing a season-high 43 minutes on Sunday isn't going to set him back too much, if at all. The same goes for Paul Pierce, who logged just under 39 minutes.
"The only guy I'm always concerned about with minutes, is Kevin," Rivers said. "We took him over the number (on Sunday); we'll probably bring him back to the number, but overall their averages are perfect."
FOXBORO -- The Patriots injury report shrunk again on Thursday.
One day after Rob Gronkowski was removed from the injury report, the Patriots were able to take backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo off.
Garoppolo injured his shoulder in a Week 2 win over the Dolphins and then missed the following two games, giving way to rookie third-rounder Jacoby Brissett. He has been limited in practice ever since being driven into the ground by Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso.
Here is Thursday's full practice participation/injury report for the Patriots and Steelers:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
T Marcus Gilbert (ankle)
DE Cameron Heyward (hamstring)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (left knee)
S Shamarko Thomas (groin)
C Cody Wallace (knee)
WR Markus Wheaton (shoulder)
RB DeAngelo Williams (knee)
S Robert Golden (foot)
S Michael Mitchell (knee)
LB Ryan Shazier (knee)
BRIGHTON, Mass. – The Bruins will have plenty of proud history on display for tonight’s home opener when Bobby Orr and Milt Schmidt drop the ceremonial first puck at TD Garden prior to the game against the New Jersey Devils.
Orr is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his first NHL game, and the amazing Schmidt is there for the 80th anniversary of his rookie NHL season, and it will be up to the current crop of B’s players afterward to play up to the standards of those two Hall of Fame legends. That was a difficult challenge for the Black and Gold last season as they struggled to a 17-18-6 record on home ice and experienced some of their worst regular-season efforts in front of the paying home customers.
When placed side-by-side with a road record (25-13-3), where only the Sharks and Capitals had more victories on the road last season, it was clear the B’s had some strange motivational issues at the Garden. Whether it was leadership, maturity or the coach to blame for their home malaise, the Bruins are looking to reverse that trend this season after an encouraging 2-1 start on the first three-game road trip of the season.
In fact, Brad Marchand didn’t even want to entertain thoughts about last year’s home ice funk.
“Last year has nothing to do with this year. We’ve got a lot of new guys and a lot of new faces, and we’re looking to have a big start at home and have a big year. We want to try and start that tonight,” said Brad Marchand. “We don’t have to get anxious and too excited. We play a good road game and if we play the same way at home as we do on the road then hopefully we’ll be okay.”
The home ice anxiousness was clear on many occasions for the Bruins whether it was getting blown out at the Winter Classic, getting smoked in Milan Lucic’s return to the Garden with the LA Kings or epically blowing the final game of the season vs. Ottawa with the playoffs on the line. It will be interesting to see what a big personality and hardened, vocal leader David Backes can bring to combat some of the home ice skittishness of last season.
One other thing the Bruins will be looking to change: allowing the other team to score the first goal, as they’ve done in all three games to start this season. It could perhaps be excused with the B’s playing the polite visitor at the emotional home openers for the Blue Jackets and the Maple Leafs last week, but now it’s their turn to jack up the emotional level and make TD Garden a much more difficult place to play than it was for the majority of last season.