By Jessica Camerato
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