Exactly Who is Backing Up Rondo?

October 3, 2007

Point Guard Depth a Question Mark

ROME - Doc Rivers said yesterday he's both ``comfortable'' and ``scared'' regarding his point guard situation. On the first day the Celtics mixed their units, the coach pointed to a lack of point guards now that rookie Gabe Pruitt is out with a sprained right ankle.

Rivers isn't concerned about how Rajon Rondo will do, but the depth has him wondering.

``We're trying to (move some players in with the key starters), but it's tough with the format we have with the players,'' he said. ``There's just not a lot of point guards, so you've got to be careful of ending up with a guardless team. I'm trying to get (James) Posey and Tony Allen on that first unit. The guy we haven't put on the first unit that we want to get on the first unit is Eddie House. Because we have a lack of (point guards), it's just tough to do.

``With Gabe being out, it just shows how thin we are at that position. People keep talking about the point guard spot and they're talking about Rajon. Rajon's going to be fine. It's what happens if he gets in foul trouble or one of the other guys can't go. Then we're thin.''

Celtics director of basketball operations Danny Ainge felt good about the backup point guards, both Allens (Tony and Ray), House and Pruitt.

``Yeah, I'm comfortable,'' said Ainge, ``but you're still scared with it. You know, Tony and Eddie are getting better at it, but on purpose today we told Rajon to cover whoever the point guard is. That way that guy would see pressure, and it affected them. There's no doubt about it, and that's what some teams are going to do.''

As for Pruitt's ankle, injured Monday, it's better.

``It's pretty good,'' he said. ``It's a little tender and sore, but I don't think it should take that long.''

He may want to avoid eating with the veterans after they made Glen Davis eat a plate of octopus.

``I heard about that,'' Pruitt said. ``I'm glad I missed that. It's part of being a rookie, but after that you know anything can happen. I hope I have to do something different. I'm a very picky eater, so that would be tough for me.''

Not missing

While most of Celtic Nation is overjoyed with the addition of Kevin Garnett, they still lament the loss of Al Jefferson and, to different degrees, Delonte West, Gerald Green and Ryan Gomes. Rivers was asked whether he regrets giving up so many young players.

``No,'' he said flatly. ``That's the answer. I don't have to expound on that. Just the answer would be no. I think you win in our league with veterans. It's been proven out.'' . . .

On his Big New Three - Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce - Rivers is taking a deliberate approach to their development.

``They're doing fine,'' he said. ``We haven't really put in things offensively to isolate them yet. It's more of our early offense where, you know, it's a flow offense. So I like it early because they're trying to figure out how to get each other involved without having the play dictated. It's good.''

Allen rests

The Celts went over plays and did shooting drills last night, but Tony Allen did not participate. He rested his surgically repaired left knee and is expected to practice today. . . .

When a European reporter inquired if he was worried because the Nuggets added Allen Iverson and still didn't make a big move, Rivers said, ``Well, we shouldn't be. We're not Denver, so we're not going to worry about it, but historically veterans win in this league. You've got to make sure you have the right mix.''

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