Pregame: Lee out, Crawford starts
BOSTON -- Boston Celtics guard Courtney Lee (sprained left ankle) will sit out his second consecutive game and miss Tuesday's visit from the New York Knicks.
Jordan Crawford draws the spot start for Boston, allowing the Celtics to keep Jason Terry in his preferred bench role.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he wasn't sure if Lee, who injured the ankle on Friday in Dallas, would be healthy enough to get back on the floor by Wednesday's game in Cleveland. The Celtics are also without Kevin Garnett, who is expected to miss two weeks while battling inflammation in his left ankle. Boston has already lost Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger and Leandro Barbosa to season-ending ailments.
Tyson Chandler is out for the Knicks because of a bulging disk in his neck.
"[Lee] just didn't improve much," Rivers said. "You pretty much prepare for everything, just like [Knicks coach Mike Woodson does] over there. They've had the same stuff, so just a lot of injuries right now for us and for them."
As for the decision to start Crawford, Rivers said that Terry lobbied to stay in his bench role.
"No, it was more JET; he really does not like to start," Rivers said. "He likes coming off the bench.
"I talked to JET about it. We started him [in Memphis on Saturday] and you just could see it. He likes being in this role, especially when he knows Courtney will be back and other guys will be back, and he'd rather just stay in his own role."
Is it rare to find a guy who doesn't like the frills of starting?
"It's rare," Rivers said. "Most guys love hearing their name called with the flames and all that stuff going up. But I think he's pretty much over all of that stuff at this point in his career. And he really believes he's better for the team coming off the bench, so it's refreshing. It's really nice."
Rivers is hoping Crawford can provide a spark in a spot start.
"That's why we traded for him," Rivers said of his outburst potential. "When you lose Barbosa, who was pretty much good on nights and on some nights bad, we looked at who can do the same things. I mean, Jordan is the perfect character for that role when you think about him. We laugh, but he is on the All-Scare Team. He scares me and [Woodson]. Every night he scares both coaches."
Speaking of injuries, Rasheed Wallace popped into the Celtics' trainer's room to visit with old friends before Tuesday's game. Wallace is sidelined after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured bone in his left foot.
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