ATLANTA -- Regardless of whether Rajon Rondo is suspended by the NBA for his actions late in Game 1, the Celtics won't force Ray Allen back into the lineup before he's ready.
"It’s nothing we can do about it," Rivers said before the team went through practice at Georgia Tech. "If Ray’s not ready, he’s not ready. It’s one thing I won’t do. I will never do it. I don’t ever put a guy out if he ain’t ready. I just won’t put him on the floor. If Ray told me he could play tomorrow and Eddie [Lacerte] said he didn’t think he could play, Ray would not play. That’s just the way it is. He said he felt a little better, but I don’t see it right now."
Allen was on the practice court with his teammates, but he missed nine straight games to close the regular season and sat out a playoff game for the first time in his career with bone spurs in his ankle. Allen has said that he will need surgery after the season and went so far as to say that he would get it now if it wasn't for the playoffs.
If Rondo and Allen can't play, the thin Celtics will have to rely on other players.
"We don’t pay just like five or six guys," Rivers said. "We pay them to be ready. Keyon Dooling last night. Avery [Bradley] got in foul trouble, he was struggling, we went to Keyon. He came in and played great. Because he’s a pro. He was ready to play. If Rondo can’t play we’re going to need an extra starter. We’re going to need an extra guy off the bench."
Look for Bradley to shift over to the point if Rondo can't play with Mickael Pietrus taking his spot in the starting lineup. You can also expect a heavy dose of Paul Pierce as a point forward. The Celtics went 8-5 without Rondo this season including a stretch of games where they won six of eight games in January.
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