LOS ANGELES -- A collection of pregame news and notes before the Boston Celtics visit the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center.
The rundown (a quick look at the pregame headlines)
Reaction from the Eddie House-for-Nate Robinson swap
Doc Rivers said team wouldn't have made trade if it didn't make them better
Rivers suggests Robinson might not join team until Sunday
Rivers talked to Robinson Thursday, joked he "sucked up for minutes"
Ray Allen happy to still be in Boston
No-win situation? Despite no Bryant, Rivers suggests win wouldn't be diminished
Doc's Opinion: Nate Robinson's arrival
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said his team would not have made a trade if it didn’t make Boston better, which is what he thinks Thursday’s addition of Nate Robinson does.
The Celtics acquired Robinson and Marcus Landry from the Knicks in a five-player deadline deal that sends Eddie House, J.R. Giddens, and Bill Walker to New York.
Robinson replaces a key member of Boston’s 2007-08 championship squad, but Rivers indicated he likes what Robinson can add to this team as it prepares for another title run.
“I’d have been fine if we hadn’t [made a move],” said Rivers. “I think, if we could improve this team, I wanted to do it. And I think bringing Nate in does that.
“I like this team when we’re in the whole. We haven’t played with a great rhythm the last 20 games, I get that. That’s fine. Whoever jumped off the bandwagon, stay off. I like this team. I’ve said it over and over again. I don’t think we needed to make a lot of changes -- and we didn’t -- so we’ll see if that was the right decision.”
Rivers talked to Robinson Thursday and shared what would be expected of the fifth-year guard, who is expected to serve as the backup point guard behind Rajon Rondo, but also provide some of the scoring flare he was known for in New York.
“[The call] went well, but it was more one-sided with me talking and him just sucking up for minutes,” joked Rivers. “It went well, he asked a lot of good questions about the defense, his role, all that stuff. I can’t wait to get him here and get to work with him.”
Click HERE to read the full story on the Robinson-for-House swap.
Ray's happy to stay
After a month of speculation, Ray Allen remains a member of the Boston Celtics after Thursday’s trade deadline passed without the team producing a franchise-altering move.
Allen, who is making $18.7 million in the final year of a five-year extension inked in Seattle, had been the subject of a steady stream of trade rumors, but, in the end, the Celtics settled for only a minor move -- shipping Eddie House to the New York Knicks in a five-player swap that brings Nate Robinson to Boston -- and left the aging Big Three intact for at least one final push at a championship.
Allen admitted Thursday that it was a bit of a relief to not have to deal with the barrage of, “Are you being traded to Team A?” or “I hear you’re going to Team B?” questions from family and friends who constantly heard his name involved in all sorts of trade proposals.
Allen, vacationing in the Bahamas over All-Star weekend, had to take to Twitter to offer his thoughts after a rumor suggested he might be traded to Washington as part of a deal for Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison.
In the end, he’s in Boston, where he’s long expressed an interest in being.
But, for Allen, it was nevertheless a bittersweet day. As he gained a bit of clarity about his own future, he lamented the state of flux House, a good friend, had been thrown into while being traded. Allen seemingly acknowledging that the player being traded very easily could have been himself had the right offer floated across the desk of Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.
Click HERE to read the full story.
Lose, lose situation?
With Kobe Bryant sidelined by a strained tendon and muscles in his left leg and sprained ligament in his left ankle, Rivers was asked if his team faced a no-win situation this evening because, even a triumph over the Lakers would draw an asterisk noting the absence of Los Angeles' star talent.
"As far as I know they still put the 'W' in our column and the 'L' in their column," Rivers said with a smile. "No, I'd be fine if that's what you guys are talking about [Friday]."
The Celtics are no stranger to injury woes, having played nearly all of the first half without a full complement of players. Boston refuses to use the injuries as a crutch when discussing their struggles -- losing 13 of their final 22 games before the All-Star break -- but Rivers did reaffirm that the absence of players often made it difficult to fully take advantage of practice time.
Even still, Rivers quickly pointed out that the Lakers are doing just fine without Bryant, having won four in a row since he's been sidelined.
Click HERE for more on Bryant's ankle injury.