WALTHAM — The Celtics are prepared for an emotional game Sunday night when the Brooklyn Nets come to TD Garden, with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett expected to be showered with ovations in their return to Boston.
Yet, the Celtics realize they have to remove themselves from the emotions of the evening and concentrate on the game, especially coming off one of their worst performances of the season.
“It’s just like I played against [Kendrick Perkins] Friday night, there might be a lot of [trash] talking,” Rajon Rondo said when asked about playing against Pierce for the first time. “It will be fine. They’re competitive. They compete. I do the same. I don’t think it will affect our guys, especially the starters, they are all veteran guys.
“It’s part of the process. This isn’t the first time guys will be back in this building and get a standing ovation and it may not be the last.”
When asked about the example set by Pierce and Garnett, Rondo said: “A blueprint really, what a professional is, how to get it done, coming in and getting their work in every day, leading by example. Great role models.”
Stevens said guard Jerryd Bayless, who hasn’t played since Jan. 19 because of a sprained left big toe, practiced on Saturday but is doubtful for Sunday’s game. Avery Bradley, expected to miss at least two weeks with a sprained right ankle, watched practice . . . The Celtics assigned Vitor Faverani to the Maine Red Claws of the NBADL for one game against Fort Wayne on Saturday before returning for Sunday’s game.Gary Washburn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @GwashburnGlobe.