There was a lot of question about Paul Pierce’s health as he posted his worst offensive outing since March 2, 1999 against the Heat. Pierce was o-of-10 from the field and scored just one point while playing 39 minutes in the Celtics win. So was it just an off shooting night, or was he still feeling the effects of the flu bug that bothered him last week? Turns out, it was neither as Pierce explained after the game.
“It was tough, you know right now, just battling a couple minor injuries to my hand and my foot. So I think that really explains my tentativeness and my off-shooting today. I told Doc that I really didn’t have it today but I just tried to grind it out and thank goodness we came out with a win.”
Pierce went out to explain he injured his right hand yesterday in practice. He also acknowledged that he was battling a left foot injury that he suffered a week ago, though he did not clarify a specific game or date of the injury.
“I just got to get it checked out tomorrow, I’m going to get an MRI on it and go from there”
With the Celtics planning on practicing both tomorrow and Tuesday before their tilt with New Jersey Wednesday night, it’s safe to say Pierce will likely sit out both of those outings in order to rest his ailing body. The safe bet would be for the team to rest Pierce heading into the All-Star break, with Delonte West expecting to return to action Wednesday night.
However, Doc Rivers was hoping to play West just 10 minutes in his first outing back, and without Pierce, this team would be left ridiculously thin on the wing with just Ray Allen, Von Wafer and a couple other guards in Avery Bradley and a beatup Nate Robinson.
That reality creates a pretty ridiculous scenario if Pierce is forced to sit out Wednesday. Given the fact he played 39 minutes tonight, you would believe he’s capable of gutting it out once again against the Nets.
Still, if the team sees any major damage on the MRI or just wants to wisely give the captain some much needed rest, keep your eyes open for some creative lineups Wednesday night with Luke Harangody possibly seeing minutes at the three. We should get an idea just how serious the situation is based on whether we see the captain that night and at practice the next couple days.
For now, with Marquis Daniels not expected to return “anytime soon” according to Rivers, the walking wounded this team consists of is almost becoming too much to overcome. Sadly, it has certainly dampened some of the deserved positivity around today’s big win.