Forward Brian Scalabrine suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of the Celtics' 106-83 victory over the Hawks last night at TD Banknorth Garden. Scalabrine was coherent when he was taken from the arena in uniform on a stretcher to New England Baptist Hospital for observation, but isn't expected to play tonight against the Nets. Forward James Posey missed last night's game with lower-back spasms and isn't expected to play tonight.
"[Tonight's] going to be tough because not having Scal, most likely, not having Posey . . . ," said coach Doc Rivers. "Like I say all the time, we pay them all. Someone's going to step up. Tony Allen's going to step up. Somebody's going to step up for us."
With Scalabrine out, the Celtics likely will activate rookie forward Brandon Wallace. Rookie guard Gabe Pruitt took Posey's spot on the roster last night and scored 4 points in his NBA debut.
With Boston up, 89-72, and 5:51 remaining, Atlanta's Al Horford accidentally backhanded Scalabrine hard in the face with his right hand. With Scalabrine on the floor in pain, the Celtics called time out. Scalabrine eventually got up and walked to the locker room. After the game, he joked with the media as he was wheeled out of the arena.
"Scal will not play," Rivers said. "I doubt it. Not the way he looked when he left."
Posey suffered a lumbar disk herniation Wednesday against the Nuggets.
He declined comment at the shootaround yesterday, but Rivers is "hopeful" he can return Tuesday at Indiana. After receiving treatment at the shootaround, Posey showed he was recovering well as he walked smoothly on a treadmill and around the gym.
"We'll just play him when he's ready," Rivers said.
Rivers heading homeRivers was slated to take a private jet following last night's game to his hometown Chicago to attend his father's funeral this morning. Grady Rivers died Sunday.
Owner Wyc Grousbeck, team president Rich Gotham, director of basketball operations Danny Ainge, and director of game operations and special events Sean Sullivan also will attend.
"Doc and I are good friends; it's that simple," said Ainge.
The players cannot attend because of tonight's game.
"Our blessings go out to Doc and his family," said Paul Pierce.
Rivers still expects to take a private jet to New Jersey after the funeral to coach tonight. He was in Chicago Sunday and Monday and is grateful there is support for his mother since he rejoined the team.
"[My family is] doing good," Rivers said. "A lot of family around. A lot of friends. It's good for my mom. I'm more concerned when they leave than I am right now.
"I'm most likely going to the game and going to coach. That's our plan. It's just something I'm going to go through. It's going to be a long day for me. We have these in our lives. We have to deal with them the best that we can."