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Sunday, March 7, 2010
Pregame notes: Fin(ley) de semana

By Chris Forsberg

BOSTON -- A collection of pregame news and notes before the Boston Celtics host the Washington Wizards Sunday night at the TD Garden:

* Finley meets the media, won't play vs. Wizards
* TA's hip not 100 percent, but he's active for Sunday's game
* Pregame videos: Finley warms up before game; Doc on Finley

Finley meets media, won't play vs. Wizards



Michael Finley still isn't sure what his role will be in Boston, but he knows one thing: He can't hurt the Celtics.

"I don’t know [my role], that’s the big question," said Finley. "I just think that I will not hurt anything that they have. This was already a great team without me. I come in, maybe [provide] a little veteran expertise, whether that be on the court or in the locker room -- just doing whatever I can to make this team a better one. But, like I said, this was already a great team before I got here, so I think that my addition is not going to be that big of an impact, if any, but I am just happy and excited to be here.

"Coach [Doc Rivers] was pretty honest with me, which I respect. He doesn't know how he's going to use me. I have to respect that. I'm coming to a situation where, the team is already established. They've put in [60] games of time, so for me to try to establish a role would be crazy to think like that. But coach has put me in a situation at ease, where he doesn’t know, I don’t know -- when my situation comes, I'll just go out there and play hard and do what I can to help the team be a better one. I think that I am able to do that.”

Finley arrived in town late Saturday night, passed his physical and finalized a free agent deal for the prorated veteran's minimum. He picked uniform No. 40, joking that Nate Robinson beat him to picking his familiar No. 4 by a couple of weeks, so he simply stuck an "imaginary zero" at the end for 40.

We also know that Finley won't be active for Sunday night's game against the Wizards as, with only a brief meeting with Boston's assistant coaches Sunday morning, he's simply not familiar enough to warrant rushing him out there (plus there's not a pressing need with the Celtics dressing 12 players already). Finley could see his first action Tuesday in Milwaukee; Boston plays five games over the next eight days, so it's likely he'll be on the court soon.

Finley discussed his departure from San Antonio (a "mutual" divorce), his injured ankle ("I'm still doing rehab ... but I'm very confident in it") and other teams that pursued him as a free agent.

"It was a handful of other teams, not only playoff teams, but championship-contending teams that were contacting my agent [Henry Thomas]," said Finley. "I just felt comfortable with the Celtics, with the pieces that they have in place, with the coach, obviously, and with some of the players I already have a relationship with. My transition here has been an easy one because of that. I have a relationship with Ray [Allen] and Marquis [Daniels], I’ve known Paul [Pierce] through the years, [and was] drafted with Kevin [Garnett] and Rasheed [Wallace], so the relationships on the team are already there. So it was easy for me to just come in and almost be one of the guys right away.”

TA back despite injured hip

Celtics guard Tony Allen admitted his injured right hip, which forced him to miss Friday's game in Philadelphia, remains sore, but he underwent plenty of treatment since falling hard on it in Wednesday's win over the Bobcats, and is ready to return to action Sunday against the Wizards.

Rivers noted that, if Allen wasn't healthy, the team wouldn't rush him back.

"I think with Tony, it's more just being healthy," said Rivers. "If he wasn't, we wouldn't play him, we'd activate Michael [Finley]. As long as he's playing, he's healthy."

Pregame Videos: Finley warms up; Doc on Finley



Check out a quick glimpse of Finley warming up before Sunday's game. The veteran ran hard for nearly a half hour, but, as Rivers pointed out, with limited time so far in Boston, he'll be inactive against the Wizards.



Rivers talked about his longstanding relationship with Finley, noting he remembers the day Finley was born.