Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“Everything’s good, I think there’s some bruising, swelling,’’ Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of Pierce. “But he can play. He’s going to play [tomorrow vs. the Nets].’’
“It’s just one of those things where if someone hits you with a baseball bat on the arm, it takes time to heal,’’ said Rivers, who will coach the Eastern Conference team in Sunday’s All-Star Game. “He got kicked in the heel a couple games ago, hit on the hand the same way in the same game.
“So, the break is coming at a great time. We’ll not practice him [today] as a precaution, so nobody hits him. And that’s going to be difficult for Paul — he likes to practice. I know the coach in the All-Star Game — he probably won’t play a lot in that game.’’
It's time for the annual debate about whether aging veterans on contending teams should waste energy and play in the All-Star game.
I'd love to see Pierce sit out the game and rest those nagging injuries. But we all know he will play. Can he really do himself harm? Probably not. The game is essentially an offensive scrimmage. I have some faith Doc Rivers will prevent Pierce from playing more than 20 minutes.
One could argue that Pierce should sit out Wednesday's game vs New Jersey. But with Marquis out and Delonte on limited minutes, Doc doesn't have many options. Does he start Von Wafer? Luke Harangody? Either way, if Pierce sits, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo would end up logging a ton of minutes.
As for Shaq's inflamed Achilles, it is not healing:
“Shaq, honestly, is just not healing right now,’’ Rivers said. “When he was first injured we all thought it was going to be a one- or two-game thing. Obviously, it’s longer. We’re hoping he’ll play on the West Coast, we’re thinking he will — maybe not every game, maybe every other game.
“It hasn’t improved at all, not one bit. It’s rest and treatment. It’s not a concern because they’ve done X-rays, there’s nothing there, but when you play basketball and get to 38 it takes longer.
Delonte West is scheduled to play tonight unless he wakes unusually sore from yesterday's full practice.
On Page 2, why Semih had to fly back to Turkey.
Boston Celtics center Semih Erden, who has been hampered by a sore groin injury, has returned to Turkey to be with his mother who is ill.
Justin Zanik, an agent for AMS Sports which represents Erden, told CSNNE.com on Monday night that the 7-foot rookie plans to rejoin the team prior to the C's playing at Golden State on Feb. 22.
"He is in Turkey now, and we are monitoring the situation," Zanik wrote in an email to CSNNE.com. "If all goes well, Semih will rejoin the team over All-Star weekend."
We can only hope Mrs. Erden makes a full recovery. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Erden family.
The rest of the links: