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Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Pregame: Seven out in C's finale

By Chris Forsberg



BOSTON -- The Celtics' list of available bodies Wednesday is about as long as the list of those that are not.

Coach Doc Rivers said he will rest Delonte West, Jermaine O'Neal, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Shaquille O'Neal, and Rajon Rondo in Boston's regular-season finale against the visiting New York Knicks. The Celtics will trot out a starting lineup of Carlos Arroyo, Von Wafer, Jeff Green, Glen Davis, and Nenad Krstic. That leaves Avery Bradley, Troy Murphy, and Sasha Pavlovic available off the bench.

While Rivers admitted there's still some competition for the final spots on the active playoff roster, he downplayed the significance of that battle.

"I don't think that's newsworthy, personally," said Rivers. "I mean, it's more newsworthy if the 12th man on either roster is playing a lot [in the postseason]. I'm not set, honestly, but I think the game the other night [versus Washington] helped and this game will actually help, along with the [pre-playoff] practices."

Rivers went on to note again how it's not that big of a deal any more as rosters can be modified game-to-game, unlike in the past. Rivers recalled how he had to sit out an entire postseason because there wasn't room on the 12-man active roster, even when injuries opened potential doors.

"I was one of the reasons it was changed," said Rivers. "Because it sucked."

Rivers said he expects to have West (sprained right ankle; more on that in the blog shortly) available for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Knicks on Sunday night, but said practice will dictate whether Shaquille O'Neal (sprained right calf) can be ready.

"With Shaq, it's probably too early to tell, but I think [he'll be able to play in Game 1]," said Rivers.

O'Neal was at the arena prior to Wednesday's game, getting in a workout with the training staff.