BOSTON -- A quiet pregame scene at the Garden with much of the chatter centered around World AIDS Day and the splash of red being throw into Boston's attire to raise awareness. The players will wear red warm-up tops and coaches will wear red ties. Some players, like Boston's Rajon Rondo, Glen Davis and Von Wafer were debating which red sneakers to wear on the court (leading to a humorous exchange between Rondo and Kendrick Perkins as the point guard asked which he should don this evening).
A handful of other quick hits:
* Despite sneaking out to Bloomington, Ind. to catch three of his eldest son's collegiate games with Indiana University, Rivers won't catch the one that comes to his neck of the woods when the Hoosiers visit Boston College Wednesday night. Rivers noted that Indiana coach Tom Crean actually apologized with his intent to bring Jeremiah Rivers, a senior, to Boston for his father to see, but a mix-up in dates led to the conflict with a Celtics home game.
* Rivers said he talked with Jermaine O'Neal via telephone Wednesday and gave a small dose of encouraging news. O'Neal, who is on rehab from left knee soreness, is hoping to resume working out next week. "That’s the first time I’ve heard that. That’s a good sign," said Rivers. That said, Celtics trainer Ed Lacerte has not given Rivers the one-week alert he asked for when the medical staff believed O'Neal would be ready for action, meaning his return to the playing court is not imminent.
* Rivers on being named Eastern Conference coach of the month: "It means that I’m lucky, that I have great players. Really, that’s all it is. I have a great group of guys and they pay attention to me half the time. Really, I just have a great group of guys."
* Rivers said Kevin Garnett "looked fine" before the game, suggesting the right ankle he rolled Tuesday night in Cleveland was not a concern.