Worcester Telegram & Gazette – telegram.com – Jeff Green, Celtics forward, still out of practice

BOSTON —  Jeff Green still hasn’t practiced because of a problem discovered during a stress test last week and Celtics coach Doc Rivers wondered yesterday if he will be ready to go for the regular-season opener at New York on Christmas Day. “I’ve been around long enough to know that if you haven’t passed your physical yet,” Rivers said, “then there something’s going on.” Green shot around with his teammates before practice at the Garden, but he did not practice. A smiling Green said he didn’t know what his status was and urged a questioner to ask Danny Ainge, Celtics president of basketball operations. Ainge, however, didn’t have much to report except that he should know more today and would provide an update then. Ainge said some of the results were back from further medical tests on Green, but he wanted to wait until team doctors had seen all of them before commenting. asked if the test results he’d seen so far were good or bad, Ainge said, “It’s all based on perspective.” Green said earlier in the week that he thought fatigue from a lack of sleep and a four-hour flight delay may have been the reason he failed a stress test he underwent as part of his physical eight days ago. Celtics fans obviously hope Green, who signed a one-year, $9 million contract extension last week, can play this season. if not, the Celtics would have only a first-round draft choice left from the Kendrick Perkins trade of last February. the Celtics dealt Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City on Feb. 24 for Green, Nenad Krstic and the Clippers’ top-10 protected, first-round pick in 2012. Krstic signed a two-year deal with a Russian team in June and the Clippers’ first-round pick shouldn’t be as valuable after LA acquired Chris Paul. While Rivers used his team’s seventh practice since the end of the 149-day lockout to continue to teach his system to nine new players, he’s still waiting for holdovers Green, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo to return. Pierce is sidelined with a sore heel and Rivers ruled him out of Sunday’s preseason opener at Toronto. Rivers said Pierce should be able to resume practicing on Monday. Rondo was limited in practice with a sprained right ankle, but he said the swelling had subsided and he expected he’d be ready to go on Sunday. Sasha Pavlovic’s left hand was wrapped as he shot before practice. He injured the hand the day before in practice. “Other than that, it’s the same thing you heard everywhere else,” Rivers said, “strains, pains and poor play.” “It’s been chaos,” Ainge said. “Not just for us, but for every team in the league. Some worse than us, some not quite as bad. …You just have to make the best of it.” “We’ll be fine,” Rondo said. “No excuses for us.” the Celtics practiced at the Garden yesterday for the first time this preseason. They’re also scheduled to practice here this morning and scrimmage at 6 tonight in front of season ticket holders and sponsors. Each year, Rivers says he wants to practice more at the Garden, but because of conflicts with the Bruins they hold nearly all of their practices at HealthPoint in Waltham. the Celtics will return to the Garden to play the Raptors Wednesday in their only preseason home game. Rivers hopes those Garden visits will acclimate his new players enough so the team’s regular-season home opener against Detroit on Dec. 30 doesn’t feel like a road game. “I like this team,” Rivers said. “I like our bench. Obviously, we have flaws. We’d love to grow a little bit, but we’re not. I think they’re done and their growth spurts are all over with at this point, at least upward.” Jermaine O’Neal is the Celtics’ only true center, and power forwards will have to back him up. Although Greg Stiemsma, a 6-foot-11, 260-pound rookie, has impressed Rivers in the early going, he’s not a pure center either. “He’s actually a terrific shooter from the elbows,” Rivers said. “He’s not a post player at all, but he’s a terrific shot blocker. He blocks everything. We’ve got to get him comfortable so that when’s he open, (he’ll) shoot it.” Stiemsma, 26, played in Turkey and for the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Skyforce of the NBDL before signing a partially guaranteed contract as a free agent with the Celtics last week. “I think he has an excellent shot to stick around,” Rivers said. Ainge said he was still working on a few possible personnel moves, but he expected to open the season with players on the current roster. Articles most Read Today

Worcester Telegram & Gazette – telegram.com – Jeff Green, Celtics forward, still out of practice


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