9.24.2009

Does Four Equal One?

1983-84 Boston Celtics

Day Three of Life Without the Chief was uneventful. The Celtics savored Saturday's 126-118 victory over the Suns and practiced for tonight's rematch on the campus of Arizona State University (10 p.m., Ch. 56). In the absence of holdout Robert Parish, coach K.C. Jones started Kevin McHale Saturday, and the 6-foot-10 center/forward scored 18 points and had six rebounds in 29 minutes. Greg Kite (four fouls and no points in eight minutes) and Winfred King (three fouls and no points in four minutes) shared the pivot position in the second quarter. In the fourth quarter, when the game was won, Cedric Maxwell was playing center.

"It would have been much better to have had Robert," said Jones. "But we've got to treat this like an injury and do the best we can with what we have." McHale said, "I feel comfortable in the middle. I don't think it's my natural spot, but it's a spot I can go into." "I'll be happy when Robert gets back," said Maxwell. "It was interesting being in there (at center) tonight, but it's not my daily chore." Larry Bird, who led the Celtics with 31 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists in 35 minutes, said, "Having Robert would help, but one player I don't think makes that much difference. We've got to go on because he might not play all year."

Perhaps intent on showing that the Celtics can play and win without Parish, Jones went his his top players in the fourth quarter. "I like to win," said Jones. "Winning is the name of the game whether it's basketball or tiddlywinks." The Celtics did not hear from Parish or his agent, Wayne Traynham, yesterday. Assistant general manager Jan Volk said, "It's entirely their move now. We'll have to wait to hear from them." Traynham and Parish have refused to comment thus far.

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