Green's health a concern
Forward in limbo; waiting on results
WALTHAM - The Celtics were awaiting a medical report yesterday to determine the condition of forward Jeff Green, who has not been practicing because of the results of a stress test.
“It is a concern, it’s a big concern,’’ said coach Doc Rivers. “Whenever anything is red-flagged and you have to re-do stuff, you get concerned. But we just have to wait and see.’’
Green viewed yesterday’s practice from the side of the court. Rivers said Green’s status could be determined by last night or today, after doctors evaluate further tests.
“My guess is results, and then doctors, because that’s usually what happens,’’ Rivers said.
Asked about Green’s mood, Rivers said: “Not great. One of the reasons he came in the day before was because the one thing he wanted to do was to start early, and not fall behind. Because he felt that really hurt him when he was traded [last season]. So, obviously, you can imagine that he’s frustrated.’’
Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo also did not work out, but are expected to return in “a couple days,’’ Rivers said.
“Paul went [Tuesday] and then his foot got sore,’’ Rivers said. “So we just decided we’ll shut him down for a couple days.
“Rondo did some stuff [yesterday] but we didn’t want him running with a sprained ankle. It’s too early to push that.
“Not having two of your starters really hurts more than the Jeff thing because now the bench can’t get together because two of the bench players are starting. Keyon [Dooling] has yet to play with the second unit except for the first day. Marquis [Daniels] or Sasha [Pavlovic] are there on the first unit.
“It affects everybody. It affects Brandon Bass because instead of having Keyon making decisions, you have Avery [Bradley] and E’Twaun [Moore]. Trust me, the veterans know that, so they’re putting pressure on the bigs because they know our young guards are struggling getting them the ball. So they’re taking them out of the practice, and that’s frustrating.’’
Happy to be here
Greg Stiemsma was uncertain where he would end up after returning to the United States following stints with Turkish teams in Ankara and Bursa.
“I took a little risk doing the D-League thing and hoping the lockout was going to end,’’ the center said. “And to choose this team out of some of the other teams we had options with - there’s nothing like coming in and putting on the green and white. I grew up watching all the highlights of [Larry] Bird and Magic[Johnson] and all. This is where the league was built. It’s an honor to be part of this and just hoping to make it stick.
“Defense has always been my strong suit, so I was looking forward to the challenge coming in and banging with some of the best in the game. Going against [Kevin Garnett] every day and Jermaine [O’Neal]. So, it’s been fun for me. KG is real vocal all the time, he answers any questions we have. He’ll come to us, too, make sure if we do have anything he’ll take time to explain stuff.’’
The Celtics had a two-hour practice, followed by a 45-minute film session, then a scrimmage.
“The effort has been great, intensity’s been good, spirit’s been great, chemistry is starting to, you can see it building,’’ Rivers said. “Really, it’s a little disappointing not having guys on the floor. And it’s not like you have a whole camp and preseason to slowly do it. Every day is a crucial day to me, the countdown has begun to the first day.
“I don’t even care about the first preseason game [against Toronto on Sunday]. I won’t and will not mention Toronto, even during the game. I’m more concerned about us. If Toronto was the opening night, that would be something different. We’re going to prepare for the first game and we’ll get started on that pretty soon, actually.’’
Rivers said Garnett “had a phenomenal practice, he had his rhythm. [O’Neal] just looks great. It’s amazing watching him, just the fact he knows stuff and he’s comfortable. Those two have been great for us.’’
Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at email@example.com.