BOSTON -- Celtics reserve forward Brandon Bass will sit out Sunday's matinee against the Memphis Grizzlies due to left knee soreness, while center Jermaine O'Neal, who underwent a right knee MRI on Saturday, will play.
Coach Doc Rivers didn't seem overly concerned about Bass, suggesting that the soreness was likely the result of wear-and-tear during this game-heavy, condensed season. Chris Wilcox will see an uptick in time, while rookie JaJuan Johnson could be utilized as well. The Celtics could also go with smaller lineups to match up with a Memphis team that likes to do the same.
"I actually think it's just the accumulation of the games," Rivers said of Bass' injury. "He had some swelling in it, so we’re just going to sit him."
Rivers did laugh when discussing how he's started to expect bad news before each game.
"It's the late notice on stuff," said Rivers. "If you had a heads up that someone was going to miss a game [it would be easier], but this year it just keeps happening -- with every team. You show up at the game and [team trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] walks in 10 minutes before and says, 'This is who is not playing.' That’s the way it is."
O'Neal said he was playing while getting dressed at his locker stall, but asked about the MRI results, he simply smiled and said he'd address it later before ducking into the trainer's room.
Rivers thinks Rajon Rondo, who returned from an eight-game absence on Friday, will continue to find his rhythm with each game as he works his way back from a sprained right wrist.
"He came out of the first game -- besides his eye -- pretty well," said Rivers, noting the shiner Rondo incurred against the Knicks. "So I think today’s game will be more normal than his first game, then the next game will get even closer. He still hasn’t had a practice, [Saturday] was a walkthrough, so these are his practices -- in games."
For the Grizzlies, old friend Tony Allen was a late scratch from the starting lineup due to hip and knee soreness. He will dress, but is not expected to play (and that might help explain why he seemed a little down in the Grizzlies' locker room before the game while addressing his latest return to Boston).