Celtics at Nuggets, 10:30 P.M. ET

TV: TNT

  • The Celtics’ trade with Oklahoma City shook up the roster with Thursday’s deal, but coach Doc Rivers thinks acquiring Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic from Oklahoma City for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson will turn out well. “We think we did pretty well today. Red (Auerbach) always said whatever the single best player in the trade, try to get it. Whether it’s Jeff Green or Perk, we don’t know that.”
  • Rivers said the new players give Boston the ability to play small, which was a key component in the run to the 2008 title. “We’ve been trying to get that lineup since (James) Posey left. We haven’t been able to duplicate that.” A key component is the health of center Shaquille O’Neal, who has played in only 36 of the 55 games this season. “Shaq will be healthy. But if Shaq plays great, then this deal was obviously really, really good for us,” Rivers said. “And that’s on Shaq. Getting Shaq in great shape, getting him ready, getting him healthy is really going to be important for us in the playoffs.”
  • Rivers said it was tough to say goodbye to Perkins, who he called one of the best character guys in the league. He expressed that to Thunder coach Scott Brooks and said he thought Green and Krstic were good character guys. “I talked to Scottie for a long time today and I mean that’s the biggest thing he’s worried about, I mean, he’s losing two high-character guys out of his locker room. I told him with Perk maybe you’re getting the best one in the league. My entire years in Boston I’ve been with Perk and he’s been with me, so personally, that’s tough.”
  • Rivers will work with a short bench for tonight’s game because of the trade, and it reinforces his belief that there should be no games played on the day of the trade deadline. “I’ve said it for 10 years, you should never have a game, you shouldn’t play on the trade deadline day. It should be over All-Star break. Because things like this happen where you can’t get enough guys. It happened last year to a couple of teams. I don’t know why but it is what it is and we have to play with who we have.” Rivers said because of the situation Chris Johnson, who was brought up from the D-League earlier Thursday, will play tonight.
  • Nuggets coach George Karl said Danilo Gallinari will start at small forward over J.R. Smith because it will help him manage the game better.  “It makes the game easier to rotate. I’m going to try to get everybody over 20 minutes. If I started J.R. it would have made it more difficult.”

– Michael Kelly

One Comment

  1. [...] Doc Rivers: “I talked to Scottie for a long time today and I mean that’s the biggest thing he’s worried about, I mean, he’s losing two high-character guys out of his locker room. I told him with Perk maybe you’re getting the best one in the league. My entire years in Boston I’ve been with Perk and he’s been with me, so personally, that’s tough.” [...]

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