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Sports

January 30, 2013

Rivers says roles won't change without Rondo

(Continued)

Rondo was injured in a double-overtime loss to Atlanta on Friday night, a game in which the Celtics blew a 27-point lead. Despite playing without their floor leader on Sunday — players didn’t know the extent of the injury until after the game — they beat the Heat in Boston in double overtime to improve to 21-23 and hold onto a 2½-game lead over Philadelphia for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.

They are back at the TD Garden tonight against the Sacramento Kings. Rivers said he isn’t sure who will bring the ball up the court — it will probably change from game to game depending on what the opponent is doing — but once the offense is set up, he will expect everyone to be involved.

That’s the way the Celtics played against Miami on Sunday.

Now they need to do it the rest of the season.

“It’s a no-point-guard system,” Rivers said, noting that his second unit has been playing that way all season. “Now the entire team needs to do it. We have a lot of guards. We just don’t have a lot of point guards.”

Rivers said Courtney Lee, who has been averaging 7.2 points and 1.4 assists in 22 minutes, will start for now. Leandro Barbosa, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green and Jason Terry will also have the ball more without Rondo on the floor.

“I don’t know if that’s a role I’m going to have,” said Barbosa, who backed up Steve Nash in Phoenix and is averaging 4.7 points and 1.2 rebounds in 11 minutes in his first season with the Celtics. “I’m not Rajon Rondo; I’m Leandro Barbosa. What I’m going to do is different for the team.

“I will do my best, but I’m not a point guard; I’m a shooting guard. I will do my best, but I’m not a Rajon Rondo.”

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