WALTHAM — Although Bulls guard Ben Gordon is listed as day-to-day after an MRI confirmed he has a strained left hamstring, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said at this morning’s shootaround that he is preparing as if the former Connecticut star is playing tonight in Game 5 at the Garden.
Gordon, however, did not sound so certain. The Bulls sharpshooter took a pain-killing shot Sunday, had swelling Monday, and said today that he is not moving well. He didn’t participate in the Bulls’ shootaround at Emerson College this morning.
Gordon, who is treating the injury, a Grade 2 strain, with ice and electrical stimulation, said he is going to test his leg during pregame. On the possibility of playing tonight, he said, “It’s still pretty bad. I don’t know. I’m looking for a miracle.”
Kirk Hinrich will start if Gordon can’t go, coach Vinny Del Negro said, according to The Chicago Tribune. Gordon said the decision on his status is his.
“It’s my call, but I have to go off how it feels,” Gordon said. “It doesn’t feel good. Hopefully I can play. If not, we have Game 6 at home [Thursday].”
Gordon is the leading scorer in the series, averaging 24.8 points per game, and scored 42 in Chicago’s 118-115 loss in Game 2. The series is tied at two games apiece.
Rivers said he has not spoken to his coaching staff or players at all about the possibility of Gordon not playing tonight.
“Like I’ve said before, yeah, there’s a chance, it’s not a very good one,” Rivers said. “I guess you could report that and it’s correct, but it would be incorrect.”
Rivers added that all his available players are healthy.