West (sprained ankle) hopes to return Wednesday

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West (sprained ankle) hopes to return Wednesday

By JessicaCamerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - Delonte West didnt think it would take this long. Not a sprained ankle. He figured that would be a matter of days, not weeks.

West has been patiently anticipating his return since suffering the injury during a team walkthrough on February 27. Weeks later, he expects the wait to be coming to an end.

I should definitely be a go for Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers, he said on Sunday.

West was able to participate in court work for the first time on Sunday prior to the Celtics-Bucks game. He still felt soreness, though, and was putting more pressure on the opposite leg during shooting to compensate. Being cautious, he did not think he would be ready to play against the Bucks or the following night against the New Jersey Nets.

Theres still a little bit of soreness in there, he said. I still dont have my explosiveness, being able to push off of it. I can gingerly go through drills, but theres not any putting that game pressure on it. So a few more days should be sufficient.

West (6.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.3 apg) had only played in three games since returning from a broken right (non-shooting) wrist when he sprained his right ankle. He realizes the time off has helped heal his initial injury, for which he still undergoes physical therapy and strengthening exercises to increase flexibility and work out scar tissue.

The one blessing about this whole thing is I get more time to rest and also strengthen my wrist, he said. I feel good. I havent even looked to put the brace on in the last week or so. I know Celtics trainer Eddie Lacerte is going to be on me in a minute -- Ill be wearing it Wednesday. But it feels strong, Im not even really favoring it right now. Thats the one positive about this ankle sprain.

West, who missed the first ten games serving a suspension, says he has stayed even keeled coping with his limited playing time. But when he does return, there is no hiding his enthusiasm for helping the Celtics against the Bucks

Its about putting myself in the position to help this team out in any way possible, he said. I think my ability to defend small and quick guards can help out some with my size, and also timely shooting, being able to spread the floor. We have a lot of that, but Im able to open that floor up for our scorers. Im looking to contribute more than just one aspect of the game.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA

First-place Celtics continue to focus on playing well, not standings

First-place Celtics continue to focus on playing well, not standings

WALTHAM, Mass. – When it comes to NBA standings, no Celtic pays closer attention to it than Isaiah Thomas.
 
But the 5-foot-9 All-Star is quick to say that while he’s aware of what’s happening with other teams record-wise, Thomas, like his teammates, isn’t obsessed with it, even with the Celtics (48-26) now in first place in the East following Cleveland’s loss at San Antonio on Monday.
 
“It’s a good feeling,” Thomas said. “It’s still not the end of the year; anything can happen. It’s a nice feeling to be the number one seed for once, but we just have to continue to control what we can control.”

The fact that Boston is even in position to finish with the best record in the East is amazing when you consider injuries and illnesses have forced them to use 13 different starting lineups this season.
 
And the preferred starting five of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Al Horford and Amir Johnson has played together 31 times and posted an impressive 24-7 record.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens has been consistent in his message that while having the best record in the East is nice, he’s more consumed with the team continuing to improve.
 
“It doesn’t mean a whole lot right now,” Stevens said of being in first place. “The whole idea is to make progress, get better every day and stay in the moment. You do that if you’re in last place trying to build up or whether you’re in a position where you’re fighting for seeding. Ultimately, we’ve been able to grow and get a little bit better. But I still think we can play a lot better. That’s where my focus is.”
 
And the same holds true for his players. Thomas knows how unusual this season has been for the Celtics, who continue finding ways to win despite frequently being short-handed.
 
The latest example of that involves forward Jonas Jerebko, who is questionable for Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee because of a sore left knee that limited him in Tuesday’s practice.
 
“It’s a long season. A lot of things can happen whether they be good or bad and we know that,” Thomas said. “We just try to withstand the storm we’ve had a few times this year, and continue to try and stay as positive as possible and we’ve done that. We’re in a good position right now. We just have to continue to take care of business.”
  
And that means steadily improving while piling up the wins, particularly against teams such as the Bucks (37-36), who are among a handful of teams that could potentially be Boston’s first-round opponent.
 
Milwaukee comes in having won 11 of its past 14 games.

“It makes the game that much more important,” said Celtics guard Avery Bradley. “Just like the Miami game. We want to let the teams know now, they go up against us in the playoffs, it’s no mercy. We’re going to play hard. We’re going to bring it every single night. We’re going to play Celtics basketball every single night. Them knowing that, we can scare a lot of teams if we’re playing the right way.”

Jerebko questionable for Wednesday against Bucks

Jerebko questionable for Wednesday against Bucks

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics have spent most of this season playing short-handed and Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee will potentially be another one of those games.
 
Veteran forward Jonas Jerebko has a sore left knee and is considered questionable for the Bucks’ game.
 
“Jonas went through about half of [Tuesday’s] practice,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens.
 
Jerebko has missed two games this season due to illness.
 
Because of Milwaukee’s length at seemingly every position, Jerebko’s ability to play both forward positions will be something the Celtics will surely miss if he’s unable to play.
 
This season, Jerebko has appeared in 69 games while averaging 3.9 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 35.0 percent on 3’s.