Matchup nightmare

Welcome to Boston, Marcus Landry. Now go guard LeBron James.

Utilizing Landry, a rookie forward obtained with Nate Robinson as part of a five-player swap with the New York Knicks at last week's trade deadline, to defend one of the NBA's top talents isn't exactly an ideal situation for the Boston Celtics. But coach Doc Rivers admitted Wednesday it's one potential scenario his ailing team is bracing for when Boston hosts the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers Thursday night at the TD Garden.

Both Paul Pierce (sprained thumb, flu) and Marquis Daniels (illness) sat out Wednesday's practice. Rivers said Pierce "most likely" will not play Thursday. Daniels will be re-evaluated closer to game time, but "looked terrible," according to Rivers, and was sent home.

That means Boston, winners of four of its last five, could be without the two players at the top of its small-forward depth chart in a matchup against a player that's arguably the top small forward in the history of the game.

"If Marquis doesn't play, and if Paul can't go, I don't know who we'd put on [James]," admitted Rivers. "Using my basketball knowledge, it's not very easy to guard him on any night, so it'll be tough [Thursday] night too.

Of using Landry, Rivers said, "We may have no choice. It is what it is.

"[Point guard Rajon] Rondo may have to guard him. Seriously."

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