ATLANTA -- Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen will not play in Game 2 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Atlanta Hawks and coach Doc Rivers admitted the team isn't sure how to proceed given a balky right ankle that will force him to miss his 11th straight game.
"It’s frustrating, honestly," said Rivers. "It’s frustrating for him far more than us, let’s make that clear. We just don’t know what to do because he looked great yesterday off the court, running and shooting, so we were almost positive [he might be able to play in Game 2]. Then today, he couldn’t walk much. He couldn’t even do his shooting before the game today. So we’re kinda lost with what to do. We’re just going to keep seeing what we can do."
Already playing without point guard Rajon Rondo (one-game suspension), the Celtics will move Mickael Pietrus into the starting lineup and hope his versatility will mask the absence of their best player from Game 1. Rivers said he plans to start Pietrus on Kirk Hinrich, but will move him around to cover perimeter players.
"We don’t want Paul [Pierce] chasing around little guards," said Rivers. "MP will guard everybody at some point in the game, that’s what he does. Starting out he’ll guard Hinrich, then when we change lineups, he’ll move over to Joe [Johnson] at times."
Rivers gushed about what Pietrus has meant to this year's team.
"The old saying is you don’t know a guy until you coach him or play with him. Well, he does far more things than I ever knew," said Rivers. "He’s been great, even just his spirit off the floor and in the locker room. He’s just a good guy. There’s guys you want in your locker room and on your team, and MP is clearly one of them, that you would love to have all the time in your locker room."
The Celtics are hoping for more out of Paul Pierce, but know that Johnson has to play better than he did in Game 1 as well.
"So both will play well and then we’re still at the same point," said Rivers. "So someone else on our team has to play well, because Joe’s not going to struggle every day, he’s too good. And neither will Paul."