BOSTON -- While Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal remains on the shelf with an ailing left wrist, coach Doc Rivers happily proclaimed that there wasn't any other injury news to report prior to Tuesday's tilt with the Houston Rockets -- something he hasn't been able to say too often this season. For a Celtics team that's battled injuries throughout the 2011-2012 campaign, the recent lineup continuity has been a nice change of pace.
"[The continuity's] really nice," Rivers said prior to Tuesday's game. "When you think about continuity, you want it in two ways. You want continuity where you have a lot of practices, and you want continuity where you have the same players every night. Well, the practice thing's not going to happen. That's just this year. It's just messed up that way. We haven't had continuity either way, all year. Now we're starting to get it with the same guys. The walk-through today, when you told the 10 guys to get out on the floor, the same 10 guys just walked out on the floor, and that's nice. It's good for your basketball team."
As for O'Neal, the Celtics' lone scratch due to injury, Rivers maintained his stance that his club is ready to proceed as if O'Neal will not return this season, adding that his return would just mean another body to utilize in the post.
"Obviously it doesn't look good, but we're prepared to be this, honestly," said Rivers. "If [O'Neal] plays, it's an extra body for us. But it's like I said, after the break, we were going with this lineup, regardless. But that's not anything I give a lot of thought about. You know how I am with injuries and stuff. That stuff works its way out. They don't need the coach involved in it. That's just the way I feel."
Maxwell Reacts to Saints' Bounty Allegation
Celtics radio color analyst Cedric Maxwell was fired up about the recent stories that in the NFL the New Orleans Saints had bounties for hits on opposing players. According to Maxwell, that was standard operating procedure for the Celtics in the late 1970s and early 1980s when Len Elmore played for a handful of teams in the NBA. "We had a bounty to anyone who would knock over Len Elmore," Maxwell asserted. "He'd just stand there trying to take the charge and we wanted to knock him over." An indication of the times, perhaps, is that the bonus for knocking over Elmore was ... $30.