If there was ever any serious concern about Rajon Rondo and Rasheed Wallace’s injury situations, those should be gone by now. Both Rondo and Wallace participated fully in yesterday’s practice. Marquis Daniels is feeling better, too. (ESPNBoston)
Rasheed Wallace and Rajon Rondo, both of whom are nursing back injuries, participated fully in Wednesday’s practice session, including contact drills, a positive sign as both ramp up for Thursday’s Game 1. [...]
Rondo landed hard on a first-quarter drive to the basket in Game 6 versus the Magic, but said the time off has worked wonders.
“My body is fine,” said Rondo. “These five days have definitely been great for me personally. I know it’s great for the team, but for me I’ve been getting a lot of massages, a lot of treatment. I’m feeling better and better each day. The more time I get, the better I am. [Thursday], I’m sure I’ll be back almost at 100 percent.”
Elsewhere on the injury front, Marquis Daniels (concussion) said he is feeling better is still awaiting full clearance from team trainer Ed Lacerte.
“I’m feeling better, it’s progressively getting better each day,” said Daniels. “The break helped. I’m just waiting for Ed to give me the sign now. I’m antsy.”
That the Celtics are entering the Finals healthy — and, really, that they are entering the Finals at all — is a miracle. During the middle of the season, when the Celtics sucked and players were going down like a team full of Andrew Bynums, it seemed the Celtics would never get healthy. It was about that time when Doc Rivers decided to more or less tank the rest of the season in order to get healthy for the postseason.
And, uh, it worked. Kevin Garnett looks healthier than he has all season. Paul Pierce’s first step was as explosive against the Magic as it was in the first game of the season. Rondo has stayed healthy, Sheed looks like he’s in shape (or at least something close to it) for the first time all season, Big Baby finally got past his assortment of injuries, and everyone else — besides Quisy — is damn healthy too. Thank you, Doc.
Look, I was all over Doc earlier this season. I thought he’d lost his team, and what else could I think when the Celtics played with such dismal effort throughout the regular season? I was pretty sure the Big Three era was going to vanish in a puff of injuries, old age and lackadaisical play. But Doc knew exactly what he was doing. Instead of overreacting to the regular season and forcing the Celtics to gun for the #1 seed he let them relax, get healthy, and prepare to make a run at another banner. Doc played it perfectly. Just like Armando Galarraga yesterday. Ouch.
All ridiculously bad umpiring decisions aside, it’s getting pretty crazy how Doc’s decisions are paying off. He’s like the Blackjack player who keeps hitting on 18 and getting a 3 every time. Seriously, can I just run over some of his decisions to you? Doc shortened his rotation, ignored all calls for Rasheed Wallace’s head, and enabled Nate Robinson’s scoring explosion by inserting him into the game for what seemed like the first time in months. By this point, people probably already forget that everyone wanted Sheed out of the rotation by now. After the Heat series and Game 1 against the Cavaliers the world was calling for him to be replaced by Shelden Williams. What did Doc do? He left Sheed in, of course, and Sheed instantly started to pretend he was the most valuable backup big man in the Eastern Conference. At this point, I’m convinced that Doc could throw Scal into the game and Scal would immediately become the second coming of Bill Walton in his prime. Everything, and I mean everything, Doc has touched this postseason has turned into gold.
But Doc’s most important postseason coaching decision still happened in the regular season, when he implored his whole team to take it easy and rest up for the playoffs. Now the Celtics are as healthy as they’ve been all year, when they should be more banged-up than ever. We can thank Doc for that.