Game Links: Nets 94, Celtics 107
Pregame – C’s Are Without Allen and O’Neal
The Celtics will be playing without two of their season-long starters tonight, as Ray Allen is stuck at home sick and Jermaine O’Neal continues to nurse a sore left wrist.
Allen, for the second time this season, has come down with an illness that is causing him to miss a game. Oddly enough, the one other game he missed due to illness came against the exact same opponent, the New Jersey Nets.
Starting at shooting guard in place of Allen will be Mickael Pietrus. You can also expect to see a heavy dose of Keyon Dooling tonight playing the backup two-guard position.
O’Neal’s absence is a bit more complicated than Allen’s. O’Neal has been dealing with a sore wrist all season long and it hit a wall before the All-Star break. He will be missing his fourth consecutive game tonight and there is no timetable for his return.
The Celtics had O’Neal see a hand specialist earlier this week and as Doc Rivers reported before tonight’s game, it is almost a guarantee that his center will need surgery on the wrist at some point or another. In the meantime, he will likely get a couple more opinions from other doctors and then assess the situation from there.
If he does return this season, he will be forced to play through a considerable amount of pain. If he instead chooses surgery, he will almost certainly be lost for the season, according to Rivers.