This is a surprise only because this game has meaning. Boston and Atlanta are an almost certain first-round playoff matchup and going into Friday night’s meeting the Hawks are half a game ahead of the Celtics for home court in that series.
But both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are going to sit out Friday night’s game for rest, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. Coach Doc Rivers left himself some wiggle room by saying he would “probably” rest the All-Star duo, but unless you plan to rest them you don’t put it out there.
Combine that with Rajon Rondo (back), Ray Allen (ankle) and Mickael Pietrus (knee) and pretty much everyone is out. Which means it’s Greg Stiemsma against the world.
Rivers is right in thinking that rested and healthy players matters more than home court. Particularly to a veteran Celtics team that has been through the wars before — home, away, outdoors at the local park with chain nets, it’s not going to really matter to Boston where the game is played. They will be themselves.
LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:
Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.
Eight days ago, Derrick Rose had surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone suffered in training camp. The Bulls said he would be ready to resume basketball activities in two weeks, and in the meantime will rejoin practice soon. That part is still on schedule — head coach Fred Hoiberg says Rose will be with the team when they return to Chicago on Monday following a two-game preseason road trip, but unless the swelling in his eye dies down, it could be a little longer before he can start practicing again.
Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
It’s not ideal, but since there’s no structural damage to Rose’s face, once he’s cleared to resume practicing, it’s just a matter of getting back into game shape before he can start playing in games. The team is still optimistic he’ll be able to play opening night against the Cavaliers on October 27.