Deadline seen as no big deal
Rivers may play the hand he has
PHILADELPHIA - At least the way Doc Rivers sees it, the Celtics are going to stand pat at the trading deadline and allow the Big Three one final run.
The deadline is March 15, which comes in the middle of their critical eight-game road trip, and the recent five-game winning streak may have skewed some thinking regarding the breakup of the Big Three.
With a division title within reach and 28 games left, Rivers said he doesn’t anticipate any major moves.
“I’m sure there will be more rumors, there’s nothing you can do about that,’’ Rivers said. “We pretty much know what we want to do.
“Like I said a week ago, I’d be surprised if we did anything. Obviously, if we find someone out there who wants to give us a player, we’ll take them.’’
The Celtics have the expiring contracts of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Jermaine O’Neal to offer in trade, but according to an NBA source, they will not give away those commodities for other teams’ unwanted contracts or young players with uncertain futures.
The Clippers reportedly have an interest in Allen but are only willing to give up veteran guard Mo Williams, who has a player option for $8.5 million next season and has asked the team for an extension. With the emergence of Avery Bradley and the potential of second-round pick E’Twaun Moore, it’s highly unlikely the Celtics would acquire an aging backup point guard.
Because of O’Neal’s wrist injury, the Celtics could use another big man to provide quality minutes in the post, but those types aren’t readily available.
No way, Ray
Allen missed all five of his field goal attempts Wednesday, the first time since March 9, 2009, at Milwaukee that he finished a game without converting a field goal.
Allen attempted two 3-pointers and a couple of midrange jumpers but was never really involved in the offense. Defenses are smothering him early in games, ensuring that he doesn’t become a factor. And he said he is going to have to adjust.
“I don’t ever think I was in the flow of the offense,’’ he said. “Offensively, we just didn’t have a flow. I was just a victim of a bad offensive flow.
“Some teams do whatever they can to commit one guy to me and don’t allow him to help. I just continue to do what I do, and when you find your spots, you have to take advantage of them.’’
In a two-game stretch over three days, Kevin Garnett played 78 minutes and 41 seconds: 41:03 in Sunday’s overtime win over the Knicks and another 37:38 in Tuesday’s OT thriller against the Rockets.
“That’s a lot,’’ Rivers said. “But you know, I’m not worried about his minutes. He’s going to have some days where he plays 40 minutes. I don’t like them back-to-back.
“He’s also going to have some 25-minute games, so at the end of the season it will still say, ‘30.’ How we get to it is how we get to it.’’
Rivers has been very wary of Garnett’s minutes since his knee surgery nearly three years ago, and the question is how much he expects Garnett to have left for the three-games-in-four-days stretch that begins Friday.
Minutes weren’t an issue against the Sixers, though, as Rivers used Garnett for only 23:27 as Philadelphia quickly put the game out of reach. Garnett had only 8 points and 5 rebounds after averaging 19.5 points and 10.6 rebounds in his previous six games.
Brandon Bass said his injury issue is not with his left ankle, but there is pain near the ankle and he needed a full quarter Tuesday night to calm it down before reentering against the Rockets. Bass, who started Wednesday night and played 23 minutes, has been bothered with minor injuries this season, including a sore left knee and sprained left ankle. “It’s something funny that I did against New York,’’ he said. “I still feel it a little bit but hopefully I don’t feel it as much. Even if it hurts, I’m still going to be playing. It’s not bad enough where I need to sit out.’’
Tough call for O’Neal
The Celtics are still awaiting word from O’Neal, who has missed seven games with a sprained left wrist. O’Neal is considering season-ending surgery or a cortisone shot. He said last week that he is agonizing over the decision . . . The 76ers were missing forward Thaddeus Young, who was a scratch with an upper respiratory infection. He had scored in double figures for six straight games . . . Rookie Nikola Vucevic set a career high with 12 rebounds in nearly 30 minutes. He also had 14 points, mostly against Celtics reserves . . . Rivers said he is not considering sending Moore to Maine of the NBADL. Moore has been on the inactive list for five of the past six games . . . Former Celtic Tony Battie got the start at center for the 76ers, with Spencer Hawes out with a left Achilles’ strain . . . Because of the compacted schedule, the Celtics won’t practice again until March 15, the day of the trade deadline.