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Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Pregame: Barbosa (illness) active vs. Wolves

By Chris Forsberg



BOSTON -- Celtics guard Leandro Barbosa is active for Wednesday's visit from the Minnesota Timberwolves, but coach Doc Rivers is hoping to avoid putting him on the floor.

Barbosa is battling an illness that forced him to miss practice the last two days.

"[Barbosa is] going to dress, but I’m going to try not to use him, if possible," Rivers said. "He’s not feeling great at all and didn’t look great today [at morning shootaround]. He’s been doing the fluid thing and all that. He’s going to be in uniform."

For an extra dash of depth, the Celtics recalled rookie swingman Kris Joseph from Maine of the NBA Development League for the second time this week (he was recalled during Rajon Rondo's two-game suspension, only to be returned to Maine on Sunday).

A handful of quick hits before Wednesday's game:

* Avery Bradley (shoulders) suggested he's a week or two away from being cleared for contact activities. Informed of Bradley's latest timeline, a surprised Rivers playfully noted, "Is that right? Wow, that’s great to hear. I’m very happy to hear the news, I appreciate you telling me. Honestly, I didn’t know that because I don’t check. [Team trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] will tell us when it’s time, I don’t focus on that stuff with guys being out. I have to focus on the guys wearing the uniform."

* With Rondo back from his two-game ban, Courtney Lee will shuffle back to a reserve role. Rivers likes what he's seen from Lee recently. "Courtney’s been playing well the last six games," Rivers said. "You notice it more because he was on the floor more, maybe, but he’s in a good place, he really is. I thought it took him a while, but he’s got it, you can see it. That doesn’t guarantee great play every night, but his effort, his positioning defensively, offensively he’s running the floor -- he’s doing a lot of things for us right now. That’s been good. We need it, and it’s going to serve us well."

* With his former squad in town, Kevin Garnett naturally was a popular pregame topic of conversation (even in his sixth year with Boston). Still Rivers threw out some lofty praise noting, "I can guarantee that the people in Minnesota, they miss what he does in the locker room," Rivers said. "They miss what he does on the floor in practice everyday, his work ethic. He has this ability to give himself to a team. It’s rare that you see a superstar do that, and he does that. I mean, he gives himself completely to his team, and just tells them to use him whatever way, whatever you want. It’s nice to have. That’s what I think he brings to a franchise, is a star who is over himself and that’s really good." Later Rivers added, "I don’t know if everyone understands, even on our team, or publicly, who Kevin Garnett really is. Just as far as what he’s done, his body of work. There’s the Hall of Fame, and then there’s the table at the Hall of Fame. And Kevin Garnett is at the table. Very few people get to sit at the table."

* With a Yahoo Sports! report indicating the New Orleans Hornets are contemplating changing their nickname to the Pelicans, Rivers was asked about having his son, Austin, playing for a team with that monicker. "I just like that he’s playing on the team," Rivers said. "Pelicans, Brass -- come up with another name, I’m all for it. It should be the Jazz."