Pregame: Olynyk returns for C's
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said there were no limitations on Olynyk, but said he'll monitor his conditioning as the game goes on.
"[Conditioning] might be a factor. And you just gauge that," said Stevens. "Again, that’ll be something where you just kinda gauge it as he goes along. Adrenaline plays a huge role, too. A lot of times the first game back, guys play really really well. You never can tell with those things."
Fellow backup big man Kris Humphries will miss his second straight game with a bruised right knee. Stevens said Humphries had been playing through pain, but the team drained the ailing knee during Thursday's off day, which should have him available again for Monday's visit from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"I’ve been told that Humphries should be back on Monday," said Stevens. "He had a knee bruise that they actually drained [Thursday]. He played through it for a couple of games and it just got worse and worse. I thought it was smart for him to talk about it, rather than keep gutting it out because he needed to have something done."
Stevens is hoping that by getting Olynyk back, and possibly more floor time for Vitor Faverani, the Celtics can add some needed size to a second unit that generated a mere four points in Wednesday's loss to the Clippers.
"I probably have brought [the reserves] out a little too soon [on Wednesday]," said Stevens. "I thought I played Jeff too long of a stretch in the second half. I didn’t like the small lineup as much as I thought I would the other night. We didn’t really have much choice the other night because of our lack of bodies. I think, obviously, we’ll go back to being more traditional off the bench. Hopefully we can play those guys for longer stretches and I think that will help them produce a little bit better."
A couple more pregame notes:
- SHUMPERT STARTS FOR KNICKS: Iman Shumpert, who missed the Knicks' last game with a bruised left knee, is back in the starting lineup against Boston. New York is without Raymond Felton (hamstring) for the next three weeks and Pablo Prigioni starts in his place on Friday. Kenyon Martin, who missed Sunday's game, is also in New York's starting lineup, allowing Carmelo Anthony to shuffle back to small forward.
- STEVENS NOT EXPECTING REPEAT: Stevens downplayed the lopsided nature of Boston's 41-point victory in New York on Sunday and he kept on preaching that before Friday's rematch. "Each game is its own entity, each game is its own separate thing. The Knicks are extremely talented, as we all know. I’ve always thought Mike [Woodson] was a really good coach and you’ve got a guy like Carmelo, who on most nights will be the best individual player in the gym. So you really got a lot of things that don’t add up to what happened on Sunday. That’s part of sports. That’s why we have to attack and play as well as we can and understand that last Sunday has nothing to do with tonight. And our guys understand that."
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