Pregame notes: Finally time to play

BOSTON -- A collection of pregame news and notes before the Boston Celtics host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series at the TD Garden:

The rundown (a quick look at pregame headlines)

* After long break, it's finally time to play

* KG and Perkins ready to go for C's

* Loose balls: Copying the King; Thundersticks?

After long break, it's finally time to play

After three full offdays since Boston's Game 2 triumph Monday in Cleveland, Celtics coach Doc Rivers admitted it's nice to finally play a game again.

"It's been a while," said Rivers. "But it's nice. We needed it and I'm sure they needed it. Now it's time to play. We don't have to talk any more, that's terrific."

Rivers had mentioned before Game 2 that the break was a bit of a no-win situation. Had the Celtics lost they would have been eager to get back on the court with a 2-0 hole. And even when they won, they wanted to get right back at it with momentum.

But, in the end, the three day break was needed given the injuries that popped up to Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins.

"In some ways, we couldn't have planned it. I wish we had a sliding scale for games. If we lost the second game, we would have wanted to play [soon after]. If we won, we wanted to play the next day. But you don't get to do that. We needed [the break], too. The way it worked out, it worked out for both teams."

The only real downside: Too much time for coaches to think.

“The bad part of four days is that coaches think too much,” said Rivers. “You think you come up with every possible change they can make, every change you should make, or wanna make, or may have to make. Half the time, none of it comes through... That’s what playoffs are about. Usually, it’s not as much about the chess match as you think. It’s more trying to get your guys to do what they should be doing to begin with. That’s more of it than any actual changes.”

KG and Perkins ready to go for C's

Asked for an update on Garnett (right midfoot strain) before the game, Rivers smiled and offered a bit of a jab at LeBron James.

"No MRIs," said Rivers. "No, he's fine. We're good. Kevin's fine, he's able to do everything. We're 100 percent and we're ready to play."

Loose balls: Copying the King?; Thundersticks?

* When a Cleveland reporter asked Ray Allen before the game if the arm sleeve he wore was borrowed from LeBron James, he simply smiled and politely noted, "You obviously haven't been watching the last three seasons."

* Asked if he'd be hustling back to the locker room to catch the end of the Sox-Yankees and Bruins-Flyers, Rivers said, "If they're still on -- well, the [Sox vs.]Yankees game will last five hours. We've got all the time in the world... It's a neat day. It's great when all this is going on in Boston. It's really cool."

* Garnett talked of creating a "Green Hell" with green-clad fans and Danny Ainge's towel-tossing incident offered a whole other world of possibilities for fans at the TD Garden Friday night.

But the Celtics elected to hand out Thundersticks instead (see the picture below). Looks like the onus is on the fans to make what they can of them.

Chris Forsberg/ESPNBoston.com

Thundersticks? Really?