Welcome to the Garden, where the Boston Celtics are set to take on the Toronto Raptors at 7:30 p.m.
To say the Celtics are entering this game shorthanded would be an understatement. Tony Allen is out for the season. Wally Szczerbiak won’t return until at least next week. And Paul Pierce is one to two weeks away from removing the walking boot from his injured left foot. The Celtics have missed a combined 82 games due to injury so far this season.
No word yet on whether Delonte West will play tonight. Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before Wednesday’s game against Indiana that West would not play, but Rivers told reporters after that game that West had already volunteered himself for action tonight. We’ll let you know Delonte’s status when it becomes available.
On the court right now for the Celtics are Al Jefferson, Allan Ray, Rajon Rondo, and Kendrick Perkins. Jefferson was practicing his mid-range jumper, a shot he might have to use tonight in the face of double-teams. The Celtics need to make up for lost scoring in the absence of Allen, and Jefferson looks to be the team’s primary offensive option.
Allan Ray also looks to get more minutes tonight in the absence of Allen. Ray is a pure shooter who will need to step up his defensive game in the absence of Allen to earn minutes off the bench.
The Celtics locker room has just opened. We’ll have the lineups and player comments in a bit.