All four injured Celtics — Rajon Rondo, Mickael Pietrus, Greg Stiemsma and Ray Allen — missed shootaround this morning as the Celtics prepared to meet the Miami Heat on national television, according to CSNNE’s A. Sherrod Blakely.
Though I assume TNT people aren’t overly excited to hear that at least half of Boston’s top eight players will miss tonight’s game, Doc Rivers is sticking to his stance that home court advantage means diddly squat compared to health. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce could both take the court tonight (emphasis on could), but if they do, expect their minutes to be limited. The Celtics are convinced that a tune-up is needed before the playoffs and are willing to sacrifice both home court and momentum for that cause.
An exciting matchup with Miami may now have turned into “Avery Bradley vs. Mario Chalmers for world supremacy*,” but that’s not an issue to Rivers at this point. He’s doing whatever he can to prepare the Celtics for the playoffs, and if that means resting anybody with a bump, a bruise or some bone spurs, so be it.
P.S. — Before all the injuries, tonight’s game against Miami had a chance to be enormous from a mental standpoint. If the Celtics had beaten a full-strength Heat squad tonight, after smacking them at the TD Garden on April 1 and prevailing against their best punches a couple weeks later, the Heat might have faced some real insecurities against the Celtics in a potential playoff series. But now the Celtics will be missing half their players, the Heat have been resting dudes for weeks, the two teams wouldn’t meet until the conference finals if at all, and this game means next to nothing. Yes, I’m a little disappointed.
*For whatever it’s worth, Miami’s Big Three all made the trip to Boston.