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Thu, 05/03/2012 - 8:58am  

Doc: Rondo individually thanked teammates

Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to discuss the team's first-round playoff series against the Hawks. 

The C's tied the series at one game apiece with an 87-80 victory in Atlanta on Tuesday. They had to do so without Rajon Rondo, who was suspended by the league for chest-bumping referee Marc Davis in Game 1. Though they lost that contest and saw one of their top players lose their cool, they were able to bounce back without Rondo in the Game 2 victory.  

"This team, I don't know how good we are or what we're going to do, but we do dumb things at times and it gets us in trouble, and then we tend to play well when that happens," Rivers said. "It's just an interesting group of guys."

Rivers said that Rondo individually thanked his teammates for getting the win without him after Tuesday's game. 

"I was really happy, going onto the bus, Rondo was standing outside the bus door waiting for every teammate to shake their hand and said, 'thank you,'" Rivers recalled.

Added Rivers: "It was really cool  to see him do that. I mean, he waited there for each guy and just shook their hand and said, 'thank you.' You could tell he was really emotional about it. It was really nice." 

Rivers noted that while he expects a strong performance from the point guard in his return from the suspension, he doesn't want Rondo to get so fired up that he loses focus. 

"I don't want him to try to do too much and try to force himself on the game," Rivers said. "Just let it come to him. After Game 1, we basically stated to him, 'We're going to get your back.' That's what you should say, but that doesn't mean you always do it and it happened."

Asked about the status of Ray Allen, who has missed the last 11 games with an ankle injury, Rivers said that he is hopeful that the veteran shooting guard will be able to dress for Game 3, but didn't sound overly optimistic. 

"Wanting to play is one thing," Rivers said. "Being able to play is another. We'll see."

For more on the Celtics, visit weei.com/celtics




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