After a quick two-game road trip, the Boston Celtics return home Wednesday night looking to win their second straight game when they face the 5-9 New Jersey Nets.
The Celtics may be without point guard Rajon Rondo once again as he continues to rest his strained hamstring, an injury he sustained last week against the Thunder. If Rondo does not play, Nate Robinson will once again get the start. Rondo currently leads the NBA in assists per game with 14.3, but coach Doc Rivers is not willing to push it.
"Not with this," said the coach. "If it's an ankle, you push the envelope. If they say they can play, then you let them play. But with a hamstring, I don't even consult with Rondo. The player has very little input with hamstring injuries, because they all think they can play... You go out there and tear it, and now you're out for the year. "I don't think I've asked Rondo one question about his hamstring," Rivers added. "My temptation is whatever Eddie (Lacerte, the trainer) says. Eddie knows me and how I try to do things. We'll always err on the cautious side. There's no benefit to anything else. In a lot of ways, it can help your team in the long run."
Robinson has put up great offensive numbers since filling in for Rondo as he went for a team-high 22 points against the Toronto Raptors and 16 points against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.
Although Robinson's production has been very good, having Rondo back could help start a new winning streak, as in his last six meetings with the Nets, Rondo has averaged 18 points and just under 10 assists a game.
Having Rondo back would be a huge advantage defensively as well as Nets point guard Devin Harris has averaged 17.3 points per game this season, including a 27-point performance Tuesday's 107-101 win over the Hawks.
The Celtics and Nets tipoff at 7:30 p.m. ET.