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CELTICS NOTEBOOKDeron Williams makes his annual visit to the Garden tonight, and the Utah Jazz point guard poses the toughest matchup problem for Rajon Rondo.

Williams is not only big, physical and capable of hitting the 3-pointer, like New Orleans' Chris Paul he's also at the head of the wave of young point guards who are, in every sense of the word, playmakers.

They set teammates up before themselves. The age of the so-called scoring point guard, at least for now, appears to be waning in the NBA.

``This year it's every night,'' Rondo said yesterday of how frequently he faces opponents in his own mold. ``Last year it was a lot, too, but now it's even more.''

Newcomers like Minnesota's Jonny Flynn and Denver's Ty Lawson are merely filling out the ranks.

``Teams are running a lot of offense through their point guards - they're going with maybe 40 or 50 pick-and-rolls per game,'' Rondo said. ``That's what we've faced a lot more of lately.

``We try to get Kevin (Garnett) and Rasheed (Wallace) back into the box as quickly as possible against the other team's bigs because of that.''

On the other end of the spectrum is Allen Iverson, the personification of a scoring point guard, and a player now considering retirement because of his reserve role in Memphis.

``I look at it as a positive trend,'' Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of this new wave of playmakers. ``There was a time in this league when you had a lot of scoring points who weren't even trying to hide what they were out there to do. It was all about scoring.'' Another kind of player is now getting that attention.

``He's one of the best point guards in the league,'' Paul Pierce said of Williams. ``He's been snubbed two or three times from the All-Star Game. Maybe this will be the year that he makes it.''

Said Rivers: ``(Williams is) another great point guard who presents all kind of problems for you. He's Rasheed, drawing you out there because he can hit the 3.''

Walker practices

Bill Walker, who is recovering from his fourth knee surgery, ran through his second full practice.

``He looked OK,'' Rivers said. ``The battle right now for him is to just get back into condition, and to get his timing back. It takes time.''

The process also can be maddening for the player attempting to recover.

``It's gonna be tough, but that's a lesson I've had to learn all my life,'' Walker said. ``I think my timing is actually good, but now it's the conditioning that I have to deal with. Getting my body back to where it has to be is the most important thing.

``It's just good to be back playing Basketball. But it's been tough, man. At the start of the season I wanted to show Doc that I was ready to step in and help the team, and then on the first day of training camp this happened.''

Scal out

Brian Scalabrine, still recovering from back spasms, didn't practice. And the big forward's situation apparently is bad enough that Rivers ruled him out of any activity for the next week. . . .

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's announcement that he is suffering from a rare form of leukemia caught Rivers by surprise.

``I hadn't heard about it, but that's obviously sad,'' said the Celtics coach. ``You just hope that things work out for him.'' . . .

Six Celtics were placed on the All-Star ballot: Rondo, Pierce, Garnett, Wallace, Ray Allen and Kendrick Perkins.

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Added: November 12, 2009


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