West out for Celtics, banged-up Pierce is in

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West out for Celtics, banged-up Pierce is in

By JessicaCamerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - Delonte West will not play against the New Jersey Nets, held out by what Doc Rivers is calling a freak injury.

West, who suffered a fractured right (non-shooting) wrist on November 24, was expected to make his return on Wednesday. On Tuesday, however, he re-injured his wrist during practice.

Although test revealed there was no further damage, Rivers says West just wasnt ready.

It was a tweak of the wrist, said Rivers before the game against the Nets. He was reaching for the ball, he was going for a steal, which should tell you something, and it was just bad timing.

While there is no timetable set for Wests return, Rivers hopes he will be able to play in the first game after the All-Star Break against the Golden State Warriors. If he is unable to go that night, the Celtics will assess his status on a game-by-game basis.

West was originally projected to return after the break, but his progress had put him ahead of schedule. Last Sunday, he plead his case to play against the Miami Heat. The Celtics said no, but planned for him to play limited minutes against the Nets. On Wednesday, however, Rivers said West did not make an argument.

"No there was no argument today," said Rivers. "I dont think he could play today."

West, meanwhile, has been anxious to get back out on the court. After serving a ten-game suspension for pleading guilty to weapons charges, he played in only five games before suffering the injury.

"I want to play. I'm a player," he said on Sunday. "We've been geared and trained for this, to play through injuries or minor injuries. But I think they're looking more for the big picture. They don't want me to get out there and re-injure it before it's right there at the finish line. So a few more days and Ill be going be going full tilt."

While West will have to wait at least another game, Paul Pierce will play against the Nets. Pierce suffered a sore left foot and sprained right hand but will not sit out.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA

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Celtics-Kings preview: Watch out for Cousins’ supporting cast

Celtics-Kings preview: Watch out for Cousins’ supporting cast

BOSTON –  There is no mistaking DeMarcus Cousins is priority No. 1 when it comes to beating the Sacramento Kings.
 
But dealing with elite individual players hasn’t been a huge problem for the Celtics.
 
It’s their supporting cast that are usually the game’s biggest difference-makers and where the Celtics have faltered.
 
Limiting Sacramento’s role players will be key to the Celtics (10-8) getting back on a winning track after losing 121-114 at home to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.
 
Going into that game, all eyes were on Andre Drummond who has emerged as one of the league’s premier centers. And the former UConn product didn’t disappoint as he scored 25 points to go with 17 rebounds. 
 
But Drummond’s play didn’t decide the game’s outcome.
 
It was the dribble-drive penetration of Ish Smith (19 points, eight rebounds, eight assists), the red-hot shooting of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (25 points) and the inside-outside work of Jon Leuer (12 points, seven rebounds) that ultimately sealed the Celtics’ fate. 
 
The Kings (7-11) have a number of players that, in addition to Cousins, can be problematic for the Celtics if they are not careful.
 
Rudy Gay, whose name will continue to be thrown about as potentially being traded, has put up borderline All-Star numbers for most of his career.
 
This season, the 10-year veteran is averaging 19.6 points, 3.1 assists and 6.3 rebounds per game from the wing-forward position.
 
Darren Collison is averaging 12.9 points per game along with 4.9 assists from the point guard position. While he’s not known as a great shooter (he’s shooting 34.8 percent on 3s this season), his speed and ability to get into the paint is something the Celtics have to limit.
 
The bottom line is Boston’s defense has to do a better job at not only accounting for the King’s main star, but also the talent around him.
 
“There’s a reason why guys are in the NBA,” Boston’s Amir Johnson told CSNNE.com recently. “You know everybody in this league can play and if you’re not careful, they can play well against you and your team. We just have to do a better job defensively against everyone, really.”
 
And part of that starts with having the right attitude.
 
“We have to get a little more nastier on the defensive end and not let a team come in and get comfortable,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder. “It’s not been an ongoing thing. It happened [against Detroit] and it happened in the Denver game; a couple games. For the most part we’ve been trying to impose our will first.”