WALTHAM — Kendrick Perkins has started to blend into the background shooting free throws and working on his pivot on the side baskets at HealthPoint.
Doc Rivers says he hardly notices Perkins, anxiously waiting to be cleared to play after having surgery on his injured shoulder.
Rivers just assumes he’s working, he said, because “I always see him sweating a lot.”
Rivers said the 6-foot-10-inch, 250-pound center would sit out the next two preseason games. He expected Perkins to practice on Monday but doubted that he’d play in next Tuesday’s game against Cleveland in Pittsburgh, even though Perkins said he wanted to be on the court by then, likely making his first start of the preseason Thursday against the Nets in New Jersey.
Perkins asked Rivers to play Wednesday night against Philadelphia, but Rivers said he was in no rush to have him back. Perkins came back to the practice facility late Thursday evening for some extra shooting.
“He’s not going to play this weekend,” Rivers said. “He won’t play any of these two games. They expect to practice him on Monday. If he practices on Monday I doubt he plays Tuesday or Wednesday, but he may start the next game.”
A successful appeal
Rivers said the eligibility issue over Adam Jones, the 6-5 friend of Rivers’s son, Austin, for whom the Rivers family attained legal guardianship was “quick and painless.”
Rivers missed the preseason opener in Amherst because he traveled to meet with the Florida High School Athletic Association.
Jones was ruled ineligible when local coaches found out he transferred to Winter High, but Rivers successfully appealed, allowing Jones to continue a playing relationship with Austin that goes back to AAU, but more importantly to give a more stable environment to a kid with a tough upbringing.
“Basketball is why I met Adam,” Rivers said. “Basketball is not why Adam’s in our house. If I’m trying to improve a team, it’s the Boston Celtics.”
Cassell back, but won’t play
Rivers said Sam Cassell was heading back to Boston Thursday afternoon after flying to Maryland to be with his sick grandfather.
He said that even though Cassell would be in Providence for shootaround, he would likely hold the veteran point guard out of the exhibition against Cleveland.
Baby singled out
Rivers caught himself when he said everyone played well in the preseason opener against Philly, making sure to pinpoint Glen Davis as the one player who disappointed.
In 18 minutes, Davis went 2 for 5 on shooting, connected on both of free throws he took and pulled down three rebounds, but he also committed three fouls and five turnovers.
“I thought Baby played poorly,” Rivers said. ”I think he turned the ball over, going too fast, didn’t set picks.”
He added that Davis’s play from this point to the end of the season would have to exceed his performance in the preseason thus far.
Odd man out
The Celtics are carrying 17 players, one more than the maximum allowed going into the season. “Someone who can really play will not make our team, “ Rivers said, adding that he would give that player a shot to make someone else’s team by playing him.
Staying at home
For the first time in 28 years that Tommy Heinsohn will not travel with the Celtics for road games. The Hall of Famer will call all 38 home games for Comcast SportsNet alongside Mike Gorman. Donny Marshall will be the color man for all road telecasts while Heinsohn works the studio with Gary Tanguay.