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Friday, April 9, 2010
Pregame notes: The Final Four (games)

By Chris Forsberg

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

The rundown (a quick look at pregame headlines)
* Final Four: No checklist for Celtics over final games
* Doc on Landry: Never got a chance

Final Four: No checklist for Celtics over final games



Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he doesn't have a to-do list of sort for the final four games of the regular season and his goal remains the same as it has been in recent weeks: Get this team in prime position for a playoff run.

"No, we're pretty much who we are," admitted Rivers. "We're fine-tuning, that's about it."

Rivers isn't concerning himself much with the so-called "race" for the third seed, either. Both the Hawks and Celtics have endured struggles at times over the past two weeks and sometimes it appears neither wants the third seed.

"It doesn’t matter [who the Celtics play] in the second [round] or the third [round] or the Finals," said Rivers. "Because we’d be there... You never hear the first seed [talk about who they want to play]. We may not be the first seed, but we have to think like one. If that's true, we shouldn't worry about who we're playing."

Rivers did say the Celtics have their eyes on the three potential teams they could play: Milwaukee, Miami, and Charlotte. With two of its final three games against the Bucks, Boston could potentially lean itself in one direction or another depending on its effort level.

As for rest, Rivers indicated he has no plans to flat-out bench his starters, but instead would watch their minutes over the final four games. He noted that, if the Celtics do offer extended rest to their starters, it's likely to come in one of the final two games (a back-to-back in Chicago and home against Milwaukee) in order to preserve legs for playoff practices.

"It sounds crazy, but having a good practice before the playoffs might be more important than the last game in some ways," said Rivers. "If you play too many minutes, you might hurt yourself for the good practice. Then again, we don't know when we play. If it's Sunday, then you wouldn't worry about it as much."

Doc on Landry: Never got a chance

Rivers admitted that rookie Marcus Landry, acquired at the trade deadline in the Nate Robinson-for-Eddie House swap and waived Friday, never got a chance in Boston, but that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge saw enough to make a decision about not having a future here.

"Danny went down and saw him several times [with the Maine Red Claws] in the D-League," said Rivers. "He made a determination to let him go. I knew him as a kid more than a player, and he was a terrific kid.

Landry appeared in just one game for Boston, logging three minutes and two missed shots in a loss to Cleveland on Feb. 25. He appeared in 13 games for the Red Claws, Boston's NBA Development League affiliate, averaging 11.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists over 24.9 minutes per game in mostly a reserve role.

The Celtics have 13 players on their roster as the postseason nears, leaving them somewhat thin. But given the fact that rotations shorten to 9-10 players in the playoffs, that still leave as many as four healthy bodies (likely Marquis Daniels, Nate Robinson, Shelden Williams, and Brian Scalabrine) eager to pounce on available minutes.