We knew the captain’s left knee was banged up, but the C’s made the unusual move this morning of announcing formally that Paul Pierce has a sprained left MCL. They also announced Avery Bradley has a sore left rotator cuff (left shoulder) but Pierce, Bradley and the rest of the C’s all took part in the team’s shootaround this morning in Waltham before Game 6 at the TD Garden tonight.
The news of a Pierce injury is no surprise (we all saw how much he was favoring it in Game 5) but it does explain a bit more about the extent of the ailment. Since suffering the injury during Sunday’s shoot-around before Game 4, Pierce has just made one trip to the free throw line in the past two games. Before that? He had been there 30 times in Games 1-3.
For an offense that struggles to score, Boston can win without Pierce getting to the free throw line. Nonetheless, without the threat, it just makes life on the C’s offense that much harder and makes the need for everyone else on the roster to shoot well even more crucial. Between getting some rest and getting their defense set, getting to the line pays major dividends for the C’s. Pierce is the best and sometimes only man for that job in Boston, but it remains to be seen if he can be more than a hobbled jump shooter with the injury. Keep a close eye on it tonight.
Bradley spoke a bit to The Boston Herald about his shoulder injury this morning. The shooting guard scored just two points in 17 minutes on Tuesday night:
“It feels good,” Bradley said. “It’s just a little sore, but I’ve been fighting through the pain all year so I’ll be ready for the game. I’m going to get hit and there’s a chance it could pop out, but I try not to think about it. I just go out there and just play.”
Game 6 tips off in just over seven hours.