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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 30th (All times Eastern)
Sacramento Kings (17-29) at Boston Celtics (21-23), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The post Rajon Rondo era will begin in Boston on Wednesday night when the Celtics take the court for the first time without the All-Star guard.
Rondo tore his ACL against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday and the team confirmed the injury on Sunday during a victory over the Miami Heat. Now the Celtics will have to make a go of it without a true point guard when they host the Sacramento Kings.
"There literally are no different roles," head coach Doc Rivers said of his expectations. "I don't want a guy now to think he's Rondo, or anything like that. Everybody's going to play their same role. The only different thing is someone else may bring the ball up and then pass it. That's the only difference."
Courtney Lee is expected to start in Rondo's place with Avery Bradley assuming most of the point-guard responsibilities. Rivers is concerned about teams pressuring Boston without a true point guard on the roster.
"We have a lot of guards, we just don't have a lot of point guards," admitted Rivers. "Someone will pressure us and someone else will have to bring the ball up. Those are the things we have to work on, more getting the ball up the floor in a quick manner."
That might mean ball-handling duties for Paul Pierce or Leandro Barbosa.
Pierce had a triple-double against the Heat in the Celtics' 100-98 double- overtime victory Sunday afternoon.
The win against the defending champs snapped a six-game losing streak for Boston. Wednesday night will be the second in a four-game homestand.
The Kings will be playing their third of a six-game road jaunt. Sacramento is 1-1 on the trek after a 28-point loss in Denver and a nail-biting victory Monday over the Washington Wizards.
Isaiah Thomas flipped in a tear-drop with a second left on the clock to knock off the Wiz, 96-94.
"I thought he did the right thing driving to the basket," said Kings coach Keith Smart. "That little floater gave us a big win."
Thomas paced the Kings with 22 points, seven assists and four rebounds. The bench provided a huge lift for Sacramento as Francisco Garcia (17 points) and Marcus Thornton (11 points) did well in reserve roles.
Starting forwards John Salmons and Jason Thompson both played less than 15 minutes against the Wizards.
The Kings won this season's only matchup with Boston, a 118-96 victory on Dec. 30 in Sacramento. The Kings have won two in a row against the Celtics, but haven't won in Boston since Jan. 19, 2007, coming up short in the last four.
01/30 10:28:40 ET