Practice notes: All-Star chatter
- Doc wants four stars: Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he thinks the Celtics deserve four All-Star reserves in Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett. Those reserves will officially be announced Thursday night. "I think we should get four guys on the roster," said Rivers. "If I don't, I'd be very disappointed. And if I do, I'm going to play them all together. That way we can run offense in the All-Star game and that would be a first."
- All-Star chatter part II: Rivers said the fun part about getting four stars would not only be playing them together, but figuring out who would be the fifth non-Celtics player on the floor. "There's some interesting combinations you can throw out there." So who would his most likely choice be? "Whoever is closest to free agency," he said with a laugh. "Just to see how it would feel."
- Shaq sits out session: Shaquille O'Neal did not participate in Thursday's practice with Rivers noting, "He's 38," as the reason for his absence, before revealing a slightly more troubling ailment. ""I think it's his Achilles, it's inflamed," said Rivers. "So we'll see. We may play him [Friday vs. the Mavericks], we may not."
- Perkins feeling good: Center Kendrick Perkins, who spent time after practice jumping rope like a boxer preparing for a prizefight, admitted he's somewhat surprised by his own conditioning and ability to jump right back into heightened activity in the five games he's logged since returning from offseason ACL surgery. "I'm not where I want to be, but I am happy with where I'm at." With Shaq questionable Friday, Perkins could be thrust into the starting lineup by default, a spot he's seemingly nearing a return to, anyhow. Said Rivers: "We will eventually [make the change at starter], it's not a big deal for us. We're more concerned with who finishes the game."
- West takes another step in recovery: Reserve guard Delonte West participated in non-contact drills at the start of Thursday's session, but remains a ways off from returning to heightened activities. West suggested he's hoping to get back into full-contact drills in practice before the All-Star break, which could keep him in line for a return in late February. Said West: "Each day it's getting better. Today I felt comfortable to do a little bit more. I was shooting layups and catching passes today. It's still a little sore, but I'm hoping any day now I can get cleared to start practicing. Also, due to the weather, being stuck out on the west coast, I missed an appointment, but the next couple of days I should be getting a check-up and seeing how far I've progressed and how much more I can start to do."
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