Practice report: Allen questionable vs. Indy

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers said guard Ray Allen is feeling better after missing Wednesday's game due to illness, but kept him away from the team for Thursday's afternoon practice at HealthPoint and deemed him questionable for Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers.

"Ray is feeling a lot better, [but] we told him to stay away," said Rivers. "We don’t need anyone else getting sick. He is [questionable]. I think he’ll play, but I have no idea."


Celtics swingman Mickael Pietrus was on the floor as the team prepared to start Thursday's session. Rivers hinted that the team wouldn't be going very hard being the day after a game and suggested that Pietrus will likely get thrust into full-contact action when the team enjoys a four-day break following Friday's tilt with the Pacers.

"[Pietrus is] a great workout guy right now, that’s what we’re calling him," said Rivers. "He’s doing skeleton already, he’s been doing that -- he’s looked great by the way. So I think, next week, when we have a couple days, I think he’ll be able to get out on the floor, do something active."

Pietrus is still strengthening his right knee after offseason surgery. Inked on Christmas Eve after he worked a buyout with the Phoenix Suns and cleared waivers, Pietrus suggested recently he needed about two weeks to get his body ready for game action. But Rivers won't hesitate to throw him into the fire when he's deemed ready by the training staff.

"If [team trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] tells me he can play tomorrow, I swear I would throw him in the game," said Rivers. "Because there’s no time, there’s just no practice. We’re getting so creative right now, even with how we practice. We’re doing things today that, when we get started, that we’ve never tried, and that’s something that we’ve never done. I would always run my coaches through the drills, do it just so there’s no contact, but it’s just one of those things but we have to get stuff out of these practices."


The Celtics play only one game over the next six days. Those four consecutive days off after Friday's game would seemingly allow critical practice time given the frenzied start to the new season, but Rivers said the biggest benefit would be the break itself.

"The rest is probably more important than anything else," he said. "We have today, where we’ll do a little work, but not a lot; Play tomorrow; Then probably give one or two days off, for the starters. The second unit, I think, may have to [practice]."

Rivers said the veterans are likely to get a couple days off, but the newcomers will be brought in to work on much-needed continuity. And Rivers doesn't expect any complaints.

"I will say this, it’s refreshing with this group," he said. "They don’t look at it as punishment."