Pregame: Health updates, cut reactions
BOSTON -- A handful of pregame notes before the Boston Celtics host the Brooklyn Nets in exhibition play at TD Garden:
* Celtics coach Doc Rivers chalked up the decision to cut Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith to not enough spots on the 15-man roster. "Two good kids, both played hard," Rivers said. "Just really came down to numbers, and we just didn’t have enough room."
* Rivers said the team still plans to keep 15 players and is open to someone from the outside if a cheap veteran can help this team at any position, not just a backup ball-handler. "Maybe the Heat will cut LeBron [James] or whoever," he said. "We’re always looking. Every team is always looking. If nothing comes, does that bother us? No. It’d be great to get another guy at any position. Obviously, at [point guard] it would help, but we can’t also forget that Avery [Bradley] is coming back too. We don’t want to overdo the point guard thing." Rivers did caution that the moves are in no way a reflection that Bradley is moving closer to a return.
* Center Darko Milicic will sit out Tuesday's game -- and likely Thursday's trip to Brooklyn as well -- due to what the team dubbed a mild right wrist sprain. Milicic said he will get a cortisone shot to alleviate the pain after Tuesday's game and Rivers said he hoped to have him back on the floor for Saturday night's game against the Knicks in Albany, N.Y.
* Forward/center Chris Wilcox said his back is feeling better, but he will not rush back with a focus on conditioning and strength. "I’m just not ready," Wilcox said. "I’m not comfortable right now. When my strength and my conditioning get where they need to be, then I’m going to get back out there. I don’t want to go back out there too early and sit out again. I want to make sure this time when I come back, I’m right."
* Rookie second-round draft pick Kris Joseph talks about on the difficulty of seeing Christmas and Smith get cut Tuesday. "It's tough because you build relationships with those guys," Joseph said. "Especially Jamar and I. We really built a good relationship, camaraderie, on and off the court. And just to know that they put in just as much work as me, and they've been working just as hard, and to see them go, it's tough. But that's just the nature of the business." Rivers said the long-term potential of Joseph separated him from the others at this point.
Play Podcast ESPN MLB Insider Buster Olney gives his thoughts on Mike Trout's cycle and compares Trout's production with Miguel Cabrera's. Olney also says Jacoby Ellsbury's lack of production is putting the Red Sox in a tough spot and explains why Cole Hamels' poor start isn't too much of a concern.
Play Podcast Indians manager Terry Francona dishes on his return to baseball, joining Cleveland, Miguel Cabrera, his time with the Red Sox, MLB's usage of instant replay and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter covers Rob Gronkowski's latest forearm surgery, the possibility of a new league schedule, Super Bowls L and LI, Charles Woodson and more.