Celtics Notes: Rondo, Smart, Pressey

Celtics guard Rajon Rondo underwent a procedure to have a screw removed from his left hand Saturday, but coach Brad Stevens tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com he isn’t worried about his point guard. “It went well. It happened (Saturday) morning and from everything I’ve gathered it’s just a matter of letting the stitching heal and he’s back at practice Tuesday,” Stevens said. “So it’s a three-day thing.” Rondo, who is in the final year of his contract and has been the target of trade speculation, said he injured the hand September 25th in a bathroom fall. He was originally projected to be out of action for a month, but returned in time for the Celtics’ opener and currently leads the NBA in assists with 11.2 per game.

More from around the Celtics:

  • Rondo’s absence from Saturday’s game in Chicago, along with an injury to rookie guard Marcus Smart, created a playing opportunity for Evan Turner, Blakely reports. The 6’7″ guard received a two-year, $6.7MM contract to come to Boston in the offseason. He was the second pick in the 2010 Draft, but was considered a disappointment with the Sixers and only played sparingly after being traded to the Pacers last season. Turner would prefer to start, but will accept whatever role the Celtics will give him. “I’ve been blessed with enough gifts to have an opportunity to figure that out,” Turner said. “It’s just easier to get into a flow as a starter, when it comes to certain situations. But I don’t worry about that. It’ll work itself out.”
  • Despite the up-and-down start to his NBA career, Turner still has plenty of supporters around the league, writes Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. Among them is Aaron McKie, who coached Turner as an assistant with Doug Collins‘ staff in Philadelphia. McKie said patience is needed with the young guard and Turner’s status as the second overall draft pick brought unrealistic expectations. “He doesn’t have the personality for the No. 2 pick,” McKie said. “That’s the Catch 22 of it. It’s a hard balance for anyone. “Part of the problem is that our pop culture has crossed over into sports. We want our guys now to be Madison Avenue people as much as basketball people, and I don’t think that’s really Evan. But that’s my guy. I’ve been with him since he got into the league.”
  • The injuries have also opened the door for little-used Phil PresseyMurphy notes. The second-year guard took the court for the first time this season Friday, contributing four fourth-quarter assists in a win over the Pacers. The Celtics showed faith in Pressey this summer by guaranteeing his $816,482 salary. “I’m staying ready expecting to get in, and if I don’t get in I’m counting down the minutes until the next game,” Pressey said. “It’s just my mindset. I love this game and I’m going to give it my all. Coach tells me to stay ready before every game. My mindset is 40 minutes, so when my name is called my mindset is there.”

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