Pregame: Bradley, Rondo in starting lineup
January, 2, 2013
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics will have both Avery Bradley (shoulders) and Rajon Rondo (hip) in the starting lineup for Wednesday's visit from the Memphis Grizzlies.
Bradley is set to make his 2012-13 season debut after undergoing a pair of shoulder surgeries while being shelved the past seven months. Rondo is battling a hip bruise that caused him to sit out a game last week, but he will try to tough this one out with Boston trying to snap a three-game skid.
"I just think the quicker we get to our lineup, the better," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "We're going to get to it anyway, so why wait?"
Rivers admitted Rondo simply looked "OK" during the team's afternoon shootaround and the coach monitor him throughout the game.
"If he's hurting us, we take him out; if he's playing well, we let him play," said Rivers. "I think it'll be vision, but listen, we gotta play with some kind of pace, offensively and defensively, obviously. So it'll be pretty easy to see."
Rivers expects Boston's defense to get a jolt from Bradley's return, but continued to downplay the "savior" notion that some outside the Boston locker room have promoted.
"I haven't paid too much attention to all this stuff. Is he [Bill] Russell yet? Or [Bob] Cousy? I don't know," quipped Rivers. "If that's what [the media has] made him, and if he lives up to that, then I'm good with that. I hope everyone's right."
Can one great defensive player make a difference for a struggling Boston squad?
"If you take one great defensive player and you put him on a team, the team is going to be a better defensive team," said Rivers. "And as important as bigs are, I've always thought, especially if it's a guard that applies pressure, that kinda fuels energy. You see it and it's hard for you not to do it. You got this guy doing it and then, what, are you not going to do anything? It clearly helps. Again, because this is his first game this year, the other players have a 30-game advantage on him as far as timing and stuff, as far as running their stuff. I'm not looking for the world today or tomorrow, even in a week. But it's going to come."