BOSTON -- Thin on bodies, the Boston Celtics activated Rajon Rondo for Wednesday's game against the Toronto Raptors, but coach Brad Stevens stressed that Rondo is unlikely to play and it appears he is still targeting Friday's visit from the Los Angeles Lakers for his 2013-14 season debut.
"[Rondo is] going to go through and do some [pregame] shooting, and there is a chance that he would suit up tonight," said Stevens. "But I don’t see a chance that he would play tonight, that it would be more about getting back into that rhythm of pregame activity."
Rondo was briefly assigned to the Maine Red Claws of the D-League on Wednesday to allow him to get a hard practice as he navigates what's expected to be the final days of rehab from ACL surgery. Stevens said he hadn't talked to Rondo since the workout, which took place at the team's training facility in Waltham with the Red Claws visiting on the heels of a recent road trip, but expressed optimism about it.
"I think [Rondo] enjoyed it because they kept score. His team usually won," said Stevens. "But it was more about getting up and down the floor more than anything. I got asked the other day, if and when he comes back, if there would be a minute restriction and the answer is yes. We’ll cross those bridges with exact numbers when we get there. And go from there. But he looked pretty good."
Stevens added: "[The D-League workout] accomplished what we wanted to accomplish. I have not talked to anybody, including Rondo since the workout was over. I watched it for a few minutes, and then I left. Because I needed to -- obviously, we’ve got a lot going on around here, but we have a game tonight."
In the aftermath of Wednesday's three-trade swap that sent MarShon Brooks and Jordan Crawford to the Golden State Warriors, the Celtics will start undrafted rookie Phil Pressey at point guard. Stevens' thinking there is that it keeps newly acquired Jerryd Bayless in a reserve role, which he'll occupy when Rondo returns.
Joel Anthony, acquired from Miami as part of Wednesday's three-team swap, is not with Boston for its game against Toronto. Stevens was uncertain when he would arrive, but said of the veteran big man: "I’m looking forward to meeting Joel. I don't him personally, I’ve seen him play since he was a high-school age, and obviously he’s got great strengths, specifically as a defender in the paint and on pick-and-rolls. I have not watched enough yet of him, but when he gets to town, we’ll work on it."