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Artest and Peja could make debuts on Friday

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Ron Artest and Peja Stojakovic should be with their new teams by the time they play on Friday, but will they take the court? Celtics coach Doc Rivers, whose team is hosting Artest and the Kings on Friday, told the Boston Herald he expects to see Artest on the floor:

"I would play him right away," Rivers said. " 'There you go. Guard somebody.' And he can do that. I'm sure he'll play. I'd be surprised if he didn't."

It's unclear what the Pacers' plans are, but Conrad Brunner of wouldn't be surprised to see Peja thrown into the fire as the Pacers host the Cavs:

Though Peja is expected to be with the team on Friday night, it remains to be seen if he'll be in uniform. It might be preferable to give him the chance to practice once or twice before unveiling him. Then again, considering the expected -- and possibly prolonged -- absence of Jermaine O'Neal, the Pacers might not be picky about little things like a guy knowing the plays and put him right out there.

That's right, Indiana has bigger problems than worrying about Peja's debut right now: Jermaine O'Neal may have torn a groin muscle on Tuesday night, and he indicated yesterday that he could be sidelined for at least two weeks. It'll be interesting to see what their starting lineup looks like in the interim.