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Patrick O'Bryant

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When the Boston Celtics open their preseason schedule against Philadelphia in Amherst, Mass., next Wednesday, the starting center could be Patrick O'Bryant, filling the role until Kendrick Perkins (shoulder) returns. In Tuesday's opening practice session at Salve Regina University, O'Bryant worked out with starters Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo.

"It felt good, everybody kind of stepped it up to another notch," O'Bryant said.

The Celtics lost two key players in the offseason — P.J. Brown (retired) and James Posey (New Orleans) —- and O'Bryant, who played for Golden State last season, signed as a free agent, projected as a replacement for Brown.

"Patrick gets to play with the starters and that's never a bad thing for him," coach Doc Rivers said. "Obviously, we're going to miss James Posey, but losing P.J. Brown concerns me as much. Patrick has a chance to fill that role. We have Leon [Powe] and [Glen Davis], and they don't have the length but they have other things they can do."


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