Pregame notes: Heavy minutes for D-West
The rundown (a quick look at pregame headlines)
* Rivers travels uncharted path with West
* Loose Balls: Doc on Moss, Ray on rookies
RIVERS TRAVELS UNCHARTED PATH WITH WEST
Celtics coach Doc Rivers joked that, having never had to deal with a player suspended at the start of the season, he should phone Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin to ask how he handled the NFL preseason with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who sat out the team's first three regular-season contests (while his team still posted a solid 3-1 mark).
Rivers would love it if his team could have the same amount of success while West sits out the first 10 games of the NBA regular season.
"It’s interesting, knowing he can’t play the first 10 games; it's a tough one," said Rivers. "I'm not even sure what to do there. Maybe I should call Mike Tomlin and ask him what he did in Pittsburgh with Roethlisberger. I really don’t know how to do this, I've never had this before. I am going to play him a lot, probably in all eight games.
"To miss 10 games in a row, that’s difficult. But we can try to get him as many minutes as he can get, just so he can have some games under him."
West acknowledged Tuesday that he was going to savor every moment of the preseason, knowing every moment will make his integration that much more seamless when he's eligible to return on Nov. 17. He got into the mix early Wednesday, joining Glen Davis as Boston's first subs off the bench with about 4:30 to go in the first frame.
Rivers said he was also hoping to get Semih Erden some extended action during Boston's eight-game preseason slate, knowing he'll more than likely be forced to log minutes early in the season with Kendrick Perkins out and both Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal no guarantee to remain healthy at advanced ages.
"Some of our young guys will play a lot of minutes," said Rivers. "The guy I really plan on playing a lot of minutes, besides Delonte, is Semih. We may need him. To think that Jermaine and Shaq are going to be healthy all year until Perk gets back is unrealistic, in my opinion. Semih would be the guy, so we have to move him along."
LOOSE BALLS: DOC ON MOSS; RAY ON ROOKIES
* After his Mike Tomlin reference, Rivers was asked another football question: What did he think of the Patriots trading Randy Moss Wednesday? "The only thing I'm upset by is, I like the Patriots and Bill [Belichick], and I like the Bears," said Rivers, a Chicago native and NFC North observer. "I don't need Randy going to Minnesota."
* Ray Allen said he wouldn't offer any words of advice to Boston's rookies before their first official preseason action. "No, you can sense it in the ones that need that little pep talk or pat on the back," said Allen. "For the most part, I stay open to them, if they need or want anything, or advice." Allen noted that one of the veteran players that helped him most when he first came into the league is actually here tonight: Philadelphia associate head coach Michael Curry.
* Best locker room moment before the game: Shaq taking the cylindrical pad he was stretching with and walloping Robinson as he returned to his locker stall. Yep, even when there's not a Twitter video to post, these guys still have fun with each other.
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