Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Boston Celtics [Print without images]

Saturday, January 2, 2010
Giddens will start vs. Raptors

By Chris Forsberg

BOSTON -- Second-year guard J.R. Giddens confirmed he will get his first NBA start Saturday night against the Raptors.

Giddens, the Celtics' 2008 first-round pick (30th overall), is expected to start at Paul Pierce's spot at small forward, with Tony Allen and Ray Allen combining to handle the ball with the first unit (Eddie House and Lester Hudson could assist at point guard off the bench).

Giddens, who brought in some friends and family for the experience, admitted he had some pregame nerves, but stressed this was the opportunity of a lifetime and was prepared to take advantage.

Rivers said the Celtics turned to Giddens based on his size and athleticism. Peppered with questions about Giddens' first start, Rivers seemed focused on the bigger picture.

"[The media is] far more concerned about J.R. than I am," said Rivers. "I'm more concerned about the team. J.R. understands his role on this team. This will not be the J.R. Giddens Show, but if he wants to go out and do what Nate Robinson did against the Hawks, I'm all for it."

Disgruntled Robinson, playing for the first time since Dec. 1, erupted for 41 points for the Knicks in an overtime victory Friday.