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.
“It’s not because we have the Celtics and Doc coming in,” Pierce said. “It’s the way it ended up. There’s still a chance I won’t play. I’ve been working out the last two or three days. It’s not that it’s the Celtics. The doctor said whenever you can tolerate the pain, because the swelling has gone down, then I don’t mind you going out there shooting. That was a couple of days ago.
Paul Pierce Looking To Play Against Celtics-Mark Murphy
Sure it’s not Paul. With old friends the Boston Celtics in town on Tuesday, and Doc Rivers & the Clippers in Brooklyn on Thursday, Celtics fans know that Truth’s fierce competitive instinct has him dying to be in the lineup. Pierce broke his hand during a game vs the Rockets a little under 2 weeks ago, and is hoping a makeshift glove can help him be ready to face Jeff Green, Avery Bradley and the rest of his former mates tonight. As of yesterday he was practicing with a “workman’s glove”, basically a glove with no fingers, and waiting for protective covering from the team’s medical staff.
I would bet that the Celtics are also hoping Pierce plays. I’m sure they would love the chance to go head-to-head with their former captain and mentor, and Paul had nothing but good things to say about the C’s recent success, despite injuries and low expectations by many in the media & fan base.
“They’re surprising a lot of people, guys are stepping up, they’re playing good team ball, they’re running, playing together,” Pierce said of his former team. “With (Rajon) Rondo out nobody expected them to be playing like this. They’ll be a better team once Rondo comes back, and try to make a playoff push. That’s something people probably didn’t expect.”
When asked about his own personal struggles this season, Paul said that if a move to play him off the bench was made, he’d be willing to “sacrifice” for the better of the team. At this point in his career, Pierce just wants to help the Nets win ballgames, and he says he’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.
“I’ll figure it out. I’m not a selfish player,” he said. “If it’s going to help the team and help us win ballgames, I’ll come off the bench, not play. If I have to be a cheerleader on the sidelines, I’ll do that. It’s a change. It’s all on the coaches, man. When we come to the huddle we say ‘all in.’ Well, man, I’m all in. If I have to sacrifice for the betterment of this team, then I’ll do it.”
It was very clear from the moment Prokhorov put this team together that anything less than a title would be complete failure. And you can bet that when Paul talked teammate Kevin Garnett into waving his no-trade clause last summer that the chance at winning another ring was one of Pierce’s major selling points. And indeed a championship is still Paul’s main focus.
“I’ve had my ups and downs, but it’s not about me,” he said. “It’s about getting the team healthy, and trying to see if we can win the championship. We haven’t got off to the best start, and I probably haven’t been playing my best basketball. Part of it is the injuries I’ve been dealing with. I feel as we continue to get healthy, we’ll be there toward the end.”
Page 2: C’s Vault To #17 In Power Rankings
That’s right, your very own Boston Celtics are now ranked at #17 in ESPN’s NBA Power Rankings.
Chris Forsberg mentions that Marc Stein also gives Brad Stevens some much deserved credit:
“Only three of the league’s nine rookie coaches start the new week with a winning record: Brian Shaw (12-8), Jeff Hornacek (11-9) and Mike Budenholzer (11-10). The raves for Brad Stevens are nonetheless steady and justified … with the Celts at 6-4 since he named Jared Sullinger a starter.”
The rest of the links: