BOSTON -- Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers will sit center Darko Milicic for a fourth straight game during Sunday's exhibition finale against the Philadelphia 76ers, but stressed he is not worried about this wrist injury lingering into the regular season.
"No, [Milicic will] be ready," said Rivers. "He could play tonight. We feel like we have a bunch of days off, why take a chance? Give him another couple days to get his hand right."
Milicic suffered a mild right wrist sprain during practice earlier this month. He got a cortisone shot Tuesday to help alleviate discomfort and the Celtics had hoped to have him back on the floor for Saturday's game against the Knicks. Instead, they gave him both weekend games off in hopes of avoiding a setback.
Also not playing for Boston on Sunday: Chris Wilcox (back) and Leandro Barbosa (visa issues).
On the positive side of injury news, Brandon Bass (knee) deemed himself in good health and is expected to play, as is Paul Pierce (ankle). Both players were dinged up in Thursday's game in Brooklyn and sat out Saturday's tilt against the Knicks.
A couple other notes from pregame access:
* Rivers admitted there have been inconsistencies with his team on the defensive end during the preseason, but likes what he's seen when his players have been engaged. Rivers thinks some of the woes are simply caused by integrating the new faces. "I think a lot of it is new personnel," said Rivers. "But I do think it’s team-wide as well. Every year, as far as I’m concerned, when you change personnel, then everybody is new again. We have to re-learn everything again, and I know we are there, but we haven't done it consistently. I don’t want us to think we’re just going to outscore teams. But if we can stop teams, with what we have on offense, I think we can be really good."
* Jason Terry is providing the instant offense he was advertised to bring and a lot of it has come without having to run sets for him. "He’s just clever," said Rivers. "We do run stuff for him, but he scores half the time when stuff is run for somebody else. And he’s just so smart. He’s just a clever basketball player, that’s why he’s still doing what he does, at his size."