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Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Pregame: C's patient with roster

By Chris Forsberg

BOSTON -- A few quick hits before the Boston Celtics host the Chicago Bulls to wrap up the first half of the season at TD Garden:

* JUST A LITTLE PATIENCE: Coach Doc Rivers, his team whittled to 10 available players due to injuries, said Boston won't rush to fill out the roster. "[Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] and I, over the last 48 hours, have probably covered every human being that’s breathing and can dribble and shoot. We’re just going to take our time. At the end of the day, that’s basically what we came to. We don’t want to rush into anything. We don’t have a lot of flexibility cap-wise, so we’re just going to wait. And if someone shakes lose or you can get someone, we will. But until then, we’re stretched at the guard spot."

* LOOKING FOR BEST AVAILABLE OPTION: Rivers later stressed that the Celtics are not focused on position, they simply want the player(s) with the best chance to crack the rotation and help this team achieve its lofty goals. "One of the things I told Danny, at the end of the day, for us, let’s not look at a position anymore. That’s something we were doing. From now on, with all the injuries, whoever is out there who we think is the best player, no matter what position, we’ll just get him and figure out how to use him. Even if it’s another [small forward], where we don’t need one, we’ll just move it around and play three 3s if we have to. I would rather have the best player [rather] than a positional player."

* A BIG GAME BEFORE A BIG BREAK: The Celtics are 7-1 since losing Rajon Rondo (with Jared Sullinger and Leandro Barbosa injured during that stretch), but Rivers doesn't want to go into the five-day All-Star break on a two-game losing streak, which adds importance to Wednesday's visit from the Bulls. "We’re going on a hard trip," said Rivers. "We’re going on a five-game West Coast trip after this game, so it’s a big game. But it is for them as well. We’re going to put what we can into it. I have some guys banged-up besides the [out-for-the-season guys], and some of them are key guys. It's just going to be, minute-wise, we’re going to have some guys on restrictions in this game that are key. That’s just the way it is." Rivers wouldn't reveal those dinged-up players, but said the box score would give it away.

* NO CHANGES TO STARTING LINEUP: The Celtics will maintain their starting lineup, but Rivers did note that we'll see more of the Paul Pierce-Jeff Green pairing at the 2 and 3 position. "We have no choice," said Rivers. "I don’t care who you call the 2, either Paul or Jeff, but they have to play together, every game now until we get another guard."