Pregame: No changes for C's

BOSTON -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers said there will be no immediate changes to Boston's starting lineup or rotation -- and he's hoping it stays that way, provided his team simply plays more consistent basketball moving forward.

After challenging his players following a loss Sunday in Detroit, Rivers even shifted some of the blame to himself before Thursday's showdown with the Knicks.

"[No changes] right now; let’s hope we don’t," said Rivers. "If we start playing better, then you don’t have to do that. Obviously if we don’t, then we have to do something at some point. Again, I think we have what we need in the locker room, I’m just not getting it out of them. I have to figure out a better way of doing that."

Asked what he wants his team focused on, Rivers added, "Winning -- nothing more than that. Nothing deeper, just playing better basketball, being a more consistent basketball team."

The Celtics embarked on a challenging three-game stretch starting with Thursday's visit from the Atlantic Division-leading Knicks. Boston visits Atlanta on Friday night, then returns home to host the East-leading Heat in a Sunday matinee.

Does Rivers think any of the extracurriculars from the last meeting with the Knicks will carry over on Thursday?

"I hope not. [Actually,] I hope it does as far as the way we played in that game, I want to do that again," Rivers said with a smile. "All that other stuff, we had very little to do with that."

Carmelo Anthony attempted to confront Celtics center Kevin Garnett after the game and was suspended one game by the NBA for his actions.

One other pregame note: Celtics guard Avery Bradley said he's feeling better after battling a cold (on top of a rib injury that's slowed him a bit in recent games).

"I had a cold last game, really bad, I wasn't feeling good at all," he said. "But now I feel a lot better. A lot better. Still got a little bit of it, but I'll be fine."

Added Bradley: "Just like sneezing and coughing and stuff, but I'll be fine. As long as I don't get any of my other teammates sick, it'll be cool."