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Celtics notebook

Point guard Arroyo is brought in as a backup

By Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / March 6, 2011

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WALTHAM — The Celtics have reached an agreement with former Heat point guard Carlos Arroyo, an NBA source said yesterday.

Arroyo, 31, who is expected to provide relief for Rajon Rondo, could join the Celtics for their visit to Milwaukee tonight.

With Delonte West (sprained ankle) not due to return until Wednesday’s game against the Clippers, the Celtics were concerned about Rondo’s minutes. Arroyo, whose contract was bought out by the Heat before the March 1 deadline, will be eligible for the playoffs.

Arroyo, waived by Miami after it signed Mike Bibby, has played in 49 games this season, averaging 5.6 points and 2.0 assists. He is shooting nearly 46 percent from the field and nearly 44 percent from the 3-point line. But the Heat sought a pure distributor, and Arroyo has averaged just 3.1 assists in his career.

The Celtics elected not to re-sign center Chris Johnson to a second 10-day contract.

“I worked hard, did whatever I could possibly do in 10 days,’’ Johnson said. “Everybody’s seen I work hard. I feel I left a mark.’’

No Shaq Wednesday Center Shaquille O’Neal will not be back for Wednesday’s game, according to coach Doc Rivers.

O’Neal, who according to Rivers has a foot injury, has not played since Feb. 1.

Von Wafer, who injured his calf in the Celtics’ 107-103 win over Golden State Friday night, will miss two to three games, according to Rivers.

Forward Glen Davis’s status has not been determined. Davis, who strained the patella tendon in his left knee Wednesday against Phoenix, worked out separately from the team, going through a brief post-practice shooting drill.

Second fiddling Rivers said of the revamped second unit, “They’ve got to get out of their habits, wherever they have been. We don’t go long [in practice], but we play with intensity, we play hard. Some of their habits have to change — it will, it’s just going to take time.’’

Rivers values tough defense, including players learning to cover for one another. “But you can’t do that unless you have unbelievable focus and intensity, and that’s what we’re trying to show them,’’ he said. “I thought they were trying to do the right stuff and help but they’re always late because they’re not ready.

“A lot of pros think practice is leisure, and we don’t believe that. When you have starters going 35 minutes hard and the second unit going at cruise control, that’s not going to settle well with me.’’

And the coach said the Celtics relied too much on switching instead of straight-up defense in the second half of the Golden State game.

“That means we’ve decided to take the easy way out,’’ he said. “We still won, but that’s a dangerous way of playing.’’

Back to basics Some of the newcomers, including Troy Murphy, are still adjusting to the Celtics’ system.

“Right now, we’re trying to just get a couple basic things and learn them well before we start expanding,’’ he said. “We’re here early before practice just going over things and we stay late.

“When someone asks a question, it’s for the whole group, so we can learn off each other’s mistakes.’’

Murphy is 0 for 7 from the field in two games since joining the Celtics. “It’s going to come — I mean, I know I can shoot,’’ Murphy said. “I have to get my legs back, get used to running up and down the court again.’’

Julian Benbow and Gary Washburn of the Globe staff contributed to this report

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