Rivers: Rondo probably won't play Friday


Rivers: Rondo probably won't play Friday

WALTHAM If only Friday's game against Phoenix were a playoff battle with the series knotted up at 2-2.
Under those circumstances, Rajon Rondo said his sore right wrist wouldn't prevent him from playing.
Instead, it's a regular-season game, one that Rondo's coach, Doc Rivers, anticipates being played without him.
"He's doing all right," Rivers said. "But I doubt if he plays. We'll see."
All indications are that a decision on Rondo won't be made until shortly before Friday night's tipoff.
"Hopefully I'll get a good night's rest," Rondo said. "I'll be in treatments pretty much all day. Other than that . . . I'll see tomorrow. "
If Rondo can't play, Rivers will have to decide on Avery Bradley or E'Twaun Moore as his starting point guard.
Under most circumstances, Moore would make sense to start in place of an injured Rondo because his ability to run a team is better than Bradley's. But the Phoenix Suns have Steve Nash, one of the game's top playmakers at the point. That might make Rivers more inclined to go with Bradley instead.
"If I need to start tomorrow, that's what I'm going to do; I'm going to come out and play hard," Bradley said.
Said Moore: "Just being prepared to play the game; follow the game plan and watch the film and be ready."
Rondo was at Wednesday's practice, but did not participate in any contact drills.
Rivers said Rondo, who was scheduled to have an MRI performed on Wednesday, was at practice to get a better handle on a couple new plays Rivers was implementing.
Rondo said he was there for the possible replacements for him if he can't play, Bradley and Moore.
"We got two young point guards," Rondo said. "Not that they need help, but as much encouragement, things I can tell them or teach them," Rondo said. "I just wanted to be here."

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally


Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.