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- Rajon Rondo has been suspended for the game without pay for making contact with a game official and failure to cooperate with a league investigation. The incident involving the official occurred with 3:19 remaining in the third quarter of the Celtics’ 89-81 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 6. “I saw what had happened, I didn’t think anything of it,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “The old saying, ‘You’re not given a reputation, you earn one.’ And I’m sure that had a lot to do with it as well. Listen, we just move on for us. I’m far more focused on the game tonight than that decision.”
- Rondo had a triple-double in the game and leads the NBA in assists. Jason Terry will start in Rondo’s place. “It doesn’t change a whole lot,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “[Avery] Bradley and Jason Terry will probably occupy the point guard position and they’re pretty good. [Rondo] is a big part of what they do though. He runs their team but those guys are capable of getting it done as well.”
- Bradley will make his third straight start at shooting guard for the Celtics. Boston is 2-0 since he was inserted into the lineup.
- Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony was named the NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week. He is coming off a 40-point outing in Saturday’s win at Orlando. He has scored 40 or more points three times this season. Asked to sum up Anthony’s play this season in one word, Tyson Chandler said, “One word? How about three letters? How about MVP?”
- Marcus Camby will make his third straight start for the Knicks in the frontcourt. He is averaging 1.5 points and 3.3 rebounds. Rasheed Wallace (stress reaction left foot) will miss his 12th straight game for the Knicks.
- Woodson said Iman Shumpert “was going through some tests today” as he recovers from a torn ACL. “If he’s ready to go, we’ll put him on the practice floor [Tuesday],” Woodson said. “He’s getting close, that’s all I can tell you at this point.”
- The Knicks haven’t won an Atlantic Division title in 19 years, while the Celtics have won five in a row. Entering this game, New York leads Brooklyn by 4 1/2 games and Boston by 7 for the division lead. “That was the first goal coming into training camp, was to win our division,” Woodson said. “We still got a long road ahead of us but I like the position we’re sitting in today but you win you’re division, you open up first round here at home and you start that playoff run. That’s what it’s all about.”
– Adam Zagoria