Updated: February 25, 2010, 10:49 PM ET

ESPN Boston: Uh, Who's Guarding LeBron?

By Chris Forsberg
ESPN Boston

Welcome to Boston, Marcus Landry. Now go guard LeBron James.

Utilizing Landry -- a rookie forward obtained with Nate Robinson as part of a five-player swap with the New York Knicks at last week's trade deadline -- to defend one of the NBA's top talents isn't exactly an ideal situation for the Boston Celtics. But coach Doc Rivers admitted Wednesday it's one potential scenario his ailing team is bracing for when Boston hosts the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night at the TD Garden.

Both Paul Pierce (sprained thumb, flu) and Marquis Daniels (illness) sat out Wednesday's practice. Rivers said Pierce "most likely" will not play Thursday. Daniels will be re-evaluated closer to game time but "looked terrible," according to Rivers, and was sent home.

That means Boston, winner of four of its past five, could be without the two players at the top of its small-forward depth chart in a matchup against a player who is arguably the top small forward in the history of the game.

"If Marquis doesn't play, and if Paul can't go, I don't know who we'd put on [James]," admitted Rivers. "Using my basketball knowledge, it's not very easy to guard him on any night, so it'll be tough [Thursday] night too.

Of using Landry, Rivers said, "We may have no choice. It is what it is. [Point guard Rajon] Rondo may have to guard him. Seriously."

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Thursday's Game Notes

By Elias Sports Bureau


• LeBron James has scored 603 points in 20 career regular-season games against Boston (an average of 30.2 per game). The only player who entered the NBA in 1970 or later and scored more points in his first 20 games versus the Celtics is Michael Jordan (679).

• The Cavaliers have lost their past five regular-season games in Boston, tying their longest current road losing streak versus any team. Cleveland also has a current five-game losing streak in Washington.

• Denver and Golden State have averaged 242.7 points per game in their three previous games against each other, the most points for any two teams that have faced each other more than once this season.


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