Pregame: Green, Krstic ready for Game 1
April, 17, 2011
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- As the Boston Celtics prepared to dive into postseason play, those who haven't been around for recent playoff runs admitted to some nerves as the quest for a world title shifts to another gear.
"Anxious, just to get going," said Jeff Green, acquired with Nenad Krstic at the trade deadline in the deal that sent Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City. "We've been watching [playoff games] for the past day and a half now, so we're ready to start our own series and get going on our quest to win a championship."
The Celtics utilized the last three days of practice to get Green and Krstic further acclimated to the Boston system, granting them the extended practice time that didn't exist during the grind of the final month of the season.
"Practices were great, very competitive," Green said. "I mean, that's what you've got to do to get ready for this type of thing that we're about to try to do, and Doc has put me in positions where I'll be with the first group, second group. It's been a wonderful couple of days and now it's time to put it to use on the court."
A few more pregame nuggets:
* Reserve guards Carlos Arroyo and Avery Bradley were the healthy scratches along with Shaquille O'Neal (right calf strain). Given the amount of minutes Rajon Rondo logs, the Celtics seem content to go with just him and Delonte West as ball-handlers. That provides a little more depth behind Paul Pierce should the team enter foul trouble on the wing.
* Krstic admitted he's hobbled a bit, not just by the bone bruise to his right knee suffered in late March, but a similar (yet minor) injury he endured to his left knee at Saturday's practice.
"I'm not 100 percent healthy because I have two bone bruises in my knees, but it's nothing really serious," Krstic said. "But I can't really say I'm 100 percent."
Pressed on where he'd put himself, Krstic added: "I don't know. I don't really know. I never really think in that way, like 85-86 percent. I'm not 100 percent, but in this part of the year, not a lot of guys are 100 percent. A lot of guys are sore, but then you go out there and play and forget about everything."
* Rivers downplayed any fallout after Glen Davis offhandedly, and rather harmlessly, suggested at Saturday's practice that guarding Amare Stoudemire is no big deal. Essentially, Davis was trying to say he sometimes psyches himself out going against a big name. Rivers says it'll all play out on the court.
"It’s all talk," Rivers said. "I don’t like it, I never liked it. But it’s going to happen and it's all talk at the end of the day."
Asked if he had warned his players to avoid bulletin board material, Rivers shrugged it off.
"You want me to warn them against [the media]?" he quipped. "We talked about it a little. Honestly, I’m more focused on playing basketball. At the end of the day, if you can talk and play, that’s good. If you can’t talk, play and stop talking. We’ll find out who does what."