Sasha Pavlovic took Rondo's spot in the starting lineup with Avery Bradley shuffling to the point guard spot. The absence of Pietrus and Allen left the Boston bench short-handed again, one night after being outscored 55-2 in a loss to the Knicks.
Even though the Magic were without Dwight Howard (back) and Hedo Turkoglu (head), this wasn't a situation where Boston tried to take advantage of a short-handed opponent by resting players. Rivers admitted that neither Rondo, Pietrus nor Allen likely would have played even if this was a playoff game.
"I don’t know the answer to that, but I would say, 'No,' tonight," said Rivers. "I would say all three could not have played tonight."
Rondo landed hard on his back chasing a rebound on Tuesday in New York. Rivers said he experienced spasms after the game -- something the team expected -- and will likely be held out in Atlanta to allow him a full week to heal up before a visit from Miami next Tuesday.
Allen has now missed five straight games -- and 12 of the past 17 -- due to lingering soreness in his right ankle. Rivers admitted that's a growing concern, but hasn't thought far enough ahead to worry about Allen not being ready for the playoffs.
"There's just concern that the ankle is not responding," admitted Rivers. "We need him."
Pietrus experienced swelling in his right knee after participating in all three games of a back-to-back-to-back this past weekend. After missing 10 games after sustaining a concussion last month, Rivers wishes he had eased Pietrus back in.
"He went from not only not playing, but not working out, to playing right away," said Rivers. "Then you do the three games in a row, and the knee swelled up. We didn’t anticipate that, but, obviously, if we could have a do-over, we would have sat him in one of those three games as well."