Green will start

Gerald Green will be making his first start of the year tonight for the Celtics.

“I know everybody’s worrying about when Paul is coming back,” said Green. “I’m just going to try and stay solid. I’m going to be more aggressive and try to be better on defense.”

Green said he felt no extra pressure because Celtics coach Doc Rivers has confidence in him.

“When Paul comes back it’s back to my normal role coming off the bench, and I’m fine with that,” said Green. “I’m in the rotation. I wasn’t even putting on the jerseys last year.”

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Green was asked who would take the last shot without Pierce and Wally Szczerbiak in the lineup.

“I have no idea,” said Green. “We’re going to let the coach decide that. We haven’t started the game yet, so I can’t tell you. If I had a good game going, I would like to take the shot. If somebody else had the game going, I think they should take the shot.”

  • Celtics center Michael Olowokandi arrived at the Garden around at 7:10 tonight and hurried quickly into the team’s locker room. Olowokandi (abdominal) is active for tonight’s game, but Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he probably would not play.

    “I don’t know about that yet,” said Rivers. “I would say by this trip he’ll be able to start playing, maybe even the first game.”

  • Pierce was not at the arena tonight and will not travel with the Celtics on their West Coast trip.

    “We put a lot on Paul,” said Rivers. “This will give him a chance to have an emotional break.”

    Rivers said Pierce would physically return to the Celtics after the team’s West Coast trip, but Pierce may still be inactive. After tonight, Boston’s next home game is January 3 against Cleveland.

  • Rivers was asked if he has ever been part of a game with so many injured (Kendrick Perkins, Pierce, Szczerbiak,Theo Ratliff, Olowokandi) players.

    “I’m sure I have,” said Rivers, who used to coach the Orlando Magic. “I had Grant Hill for four years.”

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