Rondo sits vs. Nets, doubtful for Friday

191544.jpg

Rondo sits vs. Nets, doubtful for Friday

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - Rajon Rondo didn't play on Wednesday against the New Jersey Nets, as Doc Rivers promised prior to the game. Rivers is also doubtful Rondo (strained left hamstring) will play on Friday against the Toronto Raptors.

Now that Delonte West is out for the foreseeable future because of a broken right wrist, Rivers said he will be even more careful bringing Rondo back. With the limited depth in the Celtics backcourt, they can't afford for Rondo to re-injure himself and miss more time.

"I'm probably less likely to play Rondo the way things are going," Rivers said. "Unless trainer Eddie Lacerte says he's feeling great, I just can't see it. And I know Rondo, so we're really going to have to have a long talk for him to play on Friday."

Rondo has missed the last two games since suffering the injury on November 19 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. According to Rivers, Rondo attempted to participate in the Celtics walkthrough on Wednesday morning and did not feel well.

"I don't think it's a bad injury, but you just have to be careful with it," said Rivers.

Rondo did shootaround prior to the game and was non-committal when asked about his status.

If Rondo is given the green light to play on Friday by Lacerte, Rivers would consider putting him back on the court given the fact that the team does not play again until November 30 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But for now, Rivers will continue to turn to Nate Robinson at the starting role. Robinson is averaging 19.0 points, 6.0 assists, and 3.5 rebounds in his two starts.

"He's been great, said Rivers. "Nate's played two terrific games. Our offensive numbers haven't changed at all."

Rivers isn't concerned, either, about losing a defensive edge with Robinson.

"It doesn't change much," he said. "We don't change much defensively as far as our schemes. We do what we do and we hope the opposition can't deal with it. Nate, the ball pressure will be the same, so not much change."

Even though Robinson is a shoot-first guard, Rivers is simply looking for him to play Celtics basketball.

"Really, just play," urged Rivers. "Just be Nate, go play. Go play through our system, be aggressive."

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcamerato

Lowe: Wouldn't be shocked if C's move Bradley

Lowe: Wouldn't be shocked if C's move Bradley

Zach Lowe’s most recent podcast is worth a listen, as it features plenty of talk about what the Celtics may or may not due ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. 

Lowe brought up the possibility of the Celtics top-1 or top-2-protecting Brooklyn’s first-round pick and including it in a deal for Butler. He surmises that the inclusion of the Brooklyn pick -- protected or not -- might not come until the final minutes. 

“Look, if Butler gets traded or if Paul George gets traded, that’s when it’s going to happen,” Marc Stein responded. “It’s going to happen in the last five to 10 minutes, so Boston has to make a decision, and let's see if they’re doing the math that they’ve had these assets for a while and it is time to do something bold and the time is now. Really, I think Boston will do it. The question is what will Chicago or Indiana do? And those are two hard reads.” 

Stein spoke to the Celtics’ lack of activity at certain points, but he said that if the C’s do fail to come away with a star player Thursday, it won’t be for lack of aggressiveness. 

MORE TRADE TALK

“I think the Celtics are taking criticism for waiting, and they’ve had all these assets they haven’t moved yet, but I think the record shows that Danny Ainge in general, in total, is very aggressive, not afraid to roll the dice, not afraid to make the aggressive move,” Stein said. “So I have less doubt about Boston saying, ‘Let’s just do it.’ I have far more questions about what Chicago and/or Indiana would do.” 

Lowe said that he imagines the Bulls would “think about” trading the C's Butler if Boston threw in the Nets’ pick unprotected, but added that Chicago would demand to also take two players out of Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown. 

“I think that will be the offer and they’ll get there and Chicago will either have a moment where they say, ‘We walk away or we’ll do it.’ And Boston’s not going to throw in the other Nets pick,” Lowe said. “That’s just not going to happen.”

Rating the aforementioned foursome in terms of trade value, Lowe said that Crowder is the best piece because of his “ridiculously good” contract, followed by Brown, Smart and Bradley. 

Lowe added that he considers Bradley one of the “sneaky interesting pieces at this trade deadline” because his contract is up after next season, which is the same time that Isaiah Thomas’ contract expires. Lowe says that given the uncertainty of his future in Boston, he wouldn’t be overly surprised if Bradley is moved at the deadline. 

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game.