West reinjures wrist; questionable for Wednesday


West reinjures wrist; questionable for Wednesday

By JessicaCamerato

WALTHAM --- Delonte West has been anxious to get back out on the court from the day he broke his right (non-shooting) wrist on November 24.

He was so eager to return that he tried to convince the Boston Celtics staff to let him play last Sunday against the Miami Heat, ahead of schedule.

The team said no, erring on the side of caution, but was open to having him play limited minutes on Wednesday against the New Jersey Nets.

Just a day before his projected return, however, West suffered another injury during practice on Tuesday, putting his availability in question.

Delonte practiced but didn't get through practice, said Doc Rivers. He got hit on the hand, like we were worried about, so we'll see tomorrow.

Rivers added, I was worried about it yesterday, and it happened. So we'll see. I'm sure we're going to do another x-ray to make sure nothing happened.

West has sat out 48 of the Celtics 53 games this season. After serving a 10-game suspension for pleading guilty to weapons charges, he played in only five games before breaking his wrist. He averaged 6.8 points, 2.0 assists and 1.8 rebounds off the bench in those contests.

Even though West originally planned to return the first game after the All-Star Break, he had made enough progress to get cleared earlier than expected.

"I want to play. I'm a player," West before Sundays game against the Heat. "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 admitted he was not 100 percent healthy, he was pleased that the bone was pretty much healed. As of Sunday, he had not taken any hard falls or hits on his right wrist, but he wasnt going to hold himself back by worrying about it happening.

I must say once you get out there and youre playing, just like in previously practices and the adrenaline gets flowing, you really dont pay not attention to it, he said. So Im happy where Im at as far as the injury goes and Im just looking forward to getting back out there.

Said Rivers, You've got to play. If somebody's going to hit you, they're going to hit you. It's going to happen. It's basketball.

Injuries are part of the game, but West may have to wait a little longer before he can return to it.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA

Horford's all-around play key in first regular season game with Celtics

Horford's all-around play key in first regular season game with Celtics

BOSTON – The Al Horford love fest continues with the veteran big man delivering yet another impressive performance for the Boston Celtics.

And this one?

Unlike his play in the preseason, Wednesday night's game counts.

Horford’s all-around play was pivotal to Boston holding on for a 122-117 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.

CELTICS 122, NETS 117:

The four-time All-Star made several high-basketball IQ-type plays that in hindsight, were major key moments in Boston pushing its lead to as many as 23 points.

In the third quarter with Boston ahead 71-65, Horford took advantage of Brooklyn closing out too hard on him and drove into the lane. As the Nets defenders collapsed to take away a shot attempt in the lane, Horford swung the ball to Jae Crowder whose jumper triggered a 14-5 run.

Boston would lead by double figures until the last couple of minutes of the game.

“We have to keep playing the right way, for 48 minutes,” Horford said when asked about the team’s late-game collapse.

The late-game struggles aside, there was a lot to like about how the Celtics played throughout the first 40 minutes.

And a big part of that strong play has to be credited to Horford whose ability to help keep the ball moving allowed the Celtics to finish with 36 assists on 48 made field goals, the kind of opening night assist numbers that haven’t been seen around these parts in decades.

Horford was among those getting into the act, scoring 11 points to go with five rebounds and six assists.

To see him racking up guard-like assist numbers isn’t unusual when you consider he was third in the league last season in assists per game (3.2) for a center.

“Guys were moving the ball very well,” Horford said. “It’s kind of contagious.”

Said Crowder: “I never saw coaches clap on a three-second call. We moved the ball in the first quarter so much we got a three-second call. We passed up a lot of open shots. It just shows how unselfish we are playing as a unit.”

And while that selfless brand of basketball was on display at times last season, the addition of Horford seems to have taken it to another level.

“He opens the floor, he makes it easier for everybody; he’s always in the right spots, he’s a threat at all times,” said Boston’s Isaiah Thomas. “He can hit the 3, hit the mid-range, and also post up so he has the full package; a guy that makes it easy for everybody.”