Googs' Back is a Pain


INDIANAPOLIS - To say forward Tom Gugliotta walked gingerly around the court during shootaround yesterday morning would be an overstatement. Dealing with lower back pain, he could barely shuffle across the paint. So, it was a no-brainer when coach Doc Rivers decided to place Gugliotta on the injured list. The tougher decision was who would take Gugliotta's place.

Uncertain how well rookie Delonte West would play after one practice as he continues to recover from a broken right thumb, Rivers activated second-round pick Justin Reed. While Rivers would have loved to put West in uniform when he returns to his college town of Philadelphia tonight (West went to Saint Joseph's), the coach said he had to do what was best for the team.

   "Googs is going to be down for a week or so, maybe more," said Rivers. "I just wanted to fill that spot. With Philly, who plays small ball at times, and has physical forwards, I thought Justin might be good in a spell."

Gugliotta believes he might have a sprained ligament in his back and he figures it happened while running downcourt and turning. He hopes five games will be enough time for his back to heal, but he doesn't know if that will be the case.

"They didn't give me a time, but I can't sit here and try to fight it," said Gugliotta. "The way I'm walking around is kind of embarrassing. I can't tell them I'm going to be ready tomorrow or the next day. So, [going on the injured list], is probably a good idea."

Artest in spotlight

Ron Artest has said he does not know what the word "integrity" means. Judging from his publicity blitz yesterday for the R&B CD he executive-produced, he does not understand the concept of maintaining a low profile in the wake of controversy over his part in Friday night's brawl against the Pistons.

As his teammates prepared for last night's game against the Celtics, Artest was a man about town and on the airwaves. He appeared on a local radio station to promote his group Allure. He also went on the "Today" show for what charitably could be described as a bizarre, disjointed interview with Matt Lauer. Artest appeared almost gleeful at times, joking at one point that he should at least have a piece of the camera he was fined for breaking a couple years ago.

While Artest talked to Radio Now, fans outside the radio station at the Emmis Building on Monument Circle held a rally and petitioned the NBA to lessen the suspension that will keep the forward out for the remainder of the season. While Artest kept his radio comments largely focused on the CD that dropped yesterday, he also talked briefly about his situation.

"You go to these arenas - the fans, when they're getting on your back, they can say anything," said Artest. "But there has to be a point when you say, 'OK.' I can't give you a number [of games the suspension should be reduced to], who knows? But I really want to play this year. And I've already made an effort on changing the image of the league. I've been working on doing a number of positive things."

It's uncertain how many of Artest's teammates will buy the Allure CD, but suffice it to say, they were not all that entertained when they learned about his publicity tour.

"We're not worried about him," said Fred Jones. "We're worried about our game."

Taking blame

Although there was plenty of blame to go around for the loss last night, Rivers accepted all of it even though the Pacers had an advantage on the glass (45-33), in points in the paint (42-34), and in scoring on the fast break (19-14). "I'll take the blame," said Rivers. "I think it's always my fault. When your team is better as far as talent and you lose the game, it's never the players' fault. It's the coach's fault. The coach has to find a way to get the guys to understand what's in front of them, and I failed in doing that. So, that was my fault. I've just got to keep working with them." . . . Some of the Indianapolis Colts showed support for Artest by wearing his jersey. Coincidentally, they head to Detroit for a Thanksgiving Day matchup with the Lions. The Celtics' Paul Pierce weighed in further on the matter, calling the suspensions handed Artest, Jermaine O'Neal (25 games), and Stephen Jackson (30 games) surprising in duration . . . In one of the few positive signs for the Pacers, injured big man Jeff Foster (arthroscopic surgery right hip) worked out with coach Rick Carlisle after shootaround yesterday and hopes to return Dec. 7.


FLCeltsFan said...

One of the best quotes ever... Ron Artest doesn't know the meaning of integrity. Oh my, you can't make things like that up!

Nice of Doc to take the blame for the loss. The Celtics in recent years have had a habit of underestimating teams and losing to less talented and undermanned teams. But then again, they've also beaten some better teams like the Heat, so I guess it's not strictly a Celtic thing.

Lex said...

You've been busy, FCF.

Thanks for all the comments.

: )

I've got rondo and green going to IN in a multi player deal.

No inside dirt.

Just a guess.

FLCeltsFan said...

With the maligned Hibbert coming back, maybe?

That might explain the small forwards and point guards Danny seems to be amassing.

FLCeltsFan said...

The more I think of it, the more it makes sense. Indy needs a PG, Celtics need a center.

Larry and Danny are friends.

Turner isn't signed yet. Part of a sign and trade maybe?

Lex said...

Ah. Hibbert. There you go.

Lex said...

seems like the opportunity is ripe for another inside job between former celtics

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