Boston Celtics

Milicic (wrist) contemplates cortisone shot

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Milicic (wrist) contemplates cortisone shot

PHILADELPHIA It's a good thing that Danny Ainge made adding lots of big men a priority this season.

Because it's looking more and more like he'll need them all.

Darko Milicic has played with a strained ligaments injury in his right wrist for a while that was re-aggravated in Boston's 107-75 loss to Philadelphia on Monday.

The pain is so severe now that he's contemplating having a cortisone shot to help alleviate the pain.

"I'm thinking about it," Milicic told CSNNE.com. "It (the pain) went away and I forgot about it. And I landed on it, and I got hit on it, and got hit on it and some other stupid (bleep) the pain keeps coming back."

The pain has been there for a while, Milicic said.

But now it's to the point where the pain has limited his wrist's mobility.

"I can't do this," says Milicic, as he tries to turn his wrist clock-wise and then, counter clock-wise.

"I can't move it up either," he adds, as he holds his hand palms down, and tries to bend the wrist upwards.

Sitting out and letting it rest is another option, but Milicic is quick to shoot that down.

"It's not really one of the options I want to take," he said. "We'll see."

Milicic has been among the Celtics' biggest surprises thus far in camp. With Chris Wilcox out indefinitely with a back injury, Milicic has played his way into the regular big man rotation off the bench along with rookie Jared Sullinger.

If the Celtics decide to shut him down for some or all of the remainder of the preseason, that likely means more playing time for veteran big man Jason Collins and Sullinger, who is also in the hunt to start for the C's at power forward.

NBA adds 'Harden Rule' and 'Zaza Rule' for players' safety

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NBA adds 'Harden Rule' and 'Zaza Rule' for players' safety

NEW YORK - NBA referees will be able to call flagrant or technical fouls on defenders who dangerously close on jump shooters without allowing them space to land, as Zaza Pachulia did on the play that injured Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in last season's playoffs.

Officials will also make sure jump shooters are in their upward shooting motion when determining if a perimeter foul is worthy of free throws, which could cut down on James Harden's attempts after he swings his arms into contact.

The new rules interpretations are being unofficially called the "Harden Rule" and the "Zaza Rule". The Washington Wizards accused the Celtics' Al Horford of a dangerous closeout on Markieff Morris that injured Morris and knocked him out of Game 1 of their playoff series two weeks before the Pachulia-Leonard play.

Leonard sprained his ankle when Pachulia slid his foot under Leonard's in Game 1 of Golden State's victory in the Western Conference finals. After calling a foul, officials will now be able to look at a replay to determine if the defender recklessly positioned his foot in an unnatural way, which could trigger an upgrade to a flagrant, or a technical if there was no contact but an apparent attempt to injure.

"It's 100 percent for the safety of the players," NBA senior vice president of replay and referee operations Joe Borgia said Thursday.

The NBA had made the freedom to land a point of emphasis for officials a few years ago, because of the risk of injuries. 

Officials can still rule the play a common foul if they did not see a dangerous or unnatural attempt by the defender upon review. Borgia said Pachulia's foul would have been deemed a flagrant.

With the fouls on the perimeter shots - often coming when the offensive player has come off a screen and quickly attempts to launch a shot as his defender tries to catch up - officials will focus on the sequencing of the play. The player with the ball must already be in his shooting motion when contact is made, rather than gathering the ball to shoot such as on a drive to the basket.

"We saw it as a major trend in the NBA so we had to almost back up and say, `Well, wait a minute, this is going to be a trend, so let's catch up to it,"' NBA president of league operations Byron Spruell said.