The deadline for nonguaranteed NBA contracts to become guaranteed contracts is Jan. 10, but because of procedural matters, players would have had to have been waived today. The two Celtics in that position are Delonte West and Von Wafer, both of whom are on one-year minimum contracts. Guaranteeing West's deal West was a no-brainer, but Wafer's status was in some doubt until today.
 

For almost a half of basketball, Paul Pierce had something of an identity crisis.



PAUL FLANNERY

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The Celtics wouldn’t have found a way to win this game last season. Luke Ridnour wouldn’t have traveled. Nate Robinson wouldn’t have sank both free throws with four seconds left.



PAUL FLANNERY

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Calling it a big step, Delonte West had the hard cast protecting his healing right wrist removed on Monday, the first step of what he hopes could be a return on or shortly after the All-Star break. 

 

"It's feels stiff but it's not painful," West said. "I got great news from doctors. They said maybe three weeks [then] rehabilitation. I've already started out conditioning, ball-handling. I'm left-handed anyway. Today is Day 1. I got a lot accomplished.

 

Rajon Rondo had the go-ahead basket with 1:35 left in the fourth quarter and then hit a clutch jumper with 44.9 seconds remaining as the Celtics held on for a 96-93 win over the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves Monday night at TD Garden. The Celtics trailed for most of the game before finally taking the lead on a put-back by Shaquille O'Neal with just over two minutes left. 

 

Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo are in the Celtics starting lineup for their game against the Timberwolves, Doc Rivers said. Rondo returned Sunday after missing seven games with a sprained left ankle and played 34 minutes. Pierce landed awkwardly on his right ankle late in the game. "Everybody's good," Doc Rivers said. "I'm sure Rondo's sore today, but he said he felt pretty good."

Minnesota guard Jonny Flynn, who also has a sprained ankle, is expected to play for Minnesota. He's only played nine games this season after undergoing hip surgery.

 

For a team with the best record in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics sure needed a win Sunday night. They had lost three of four, which qualifies as a minor slump, but more importantly, they hadn’t played very good basketball since the middle of December.



PAUL FLANNERY

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Late in the Celtics' 93-79 win over Toronto Sunday, Paul Pierce landed awkwardly after an open-court dunk and sprained his right ankle. Pierce hobbled back up the court before calling for a timeout to come out of the game. Pierce then went back to the locker room before the game concluded, but Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he doesn't think it will be that serious. It will be a quick turnaround for Pierce as the Celtics host Minnesota on Monday.

 

For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.

Rajon Rondo returned to the lineup for the Celtics and helped them snap out of their recent funk with a 93-79 victory over the Raptors, Sunday night. Rondo didn't have a great statistical game (four points, eight assists and five turnovers in 33 minutes) but his impact was felt all over the court as the Celtics shot 55 percent and had 30 assists on 38 made shots.

 

After a last-minute change, Rajon Rondo will return to the Celtics starting lineup for their game against Toronto, Sunday night. Earlier indications were that Rondo would sit out his eighth consecutive game with an ankle injury, but reports from Toronto indicate that he will play. The Celtics were 4-3 without Rondo, who injured his ankle against the Knicks back on Dec. 15.

 

For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.