Pierce To Rest Hip Tuesday, Aims to Play Wednesday
WALTHAM - Paul Pierce's strained left hip isn't believed to be a serious condition, but he will sit out Tuesday's game against the Knicks at MSG as a precaution. The Celtics' franchise player will make the trip to New York with the team and expects to be in the lineup Wednesday night at the TD Banknorth Garden when the Celtics host the New Jersey Nets.
Pierce practiced with the team before Monday's flight to New York and afterward, he downplayed the injury, which he suffered in Friday night's exhibition loss to the Cavaliers in Manchester, NH. Pierce did not participate in Saturday's open practice at UMass Boston or Sunday's session in Waltham, aside from some free throws and light shooting.
Feeling better today, Pierce participated in the majority of Monday's practice.
"[I've got some] soreness, but I just wanted to get some sweat in, get some practice in. I'll probably take tomorrow off and come back Wednesday," said Pierce. "I really don't like sitting. I pretty much went the whole practice, and I got a massage. It was feeling pretty good when I woke up this morning."
The captain assured reporters on Monday afternoon that were it the regular season, he'd be playing, but right now he's more concerned with being healthy when the games count.
"It's preseason, [I'm] taking extra precautions. I don't want anything lingering when the season starts," said Pierce.
Coach Doc Rivers said that with two back-to-back games, he'd rather give his star an extra day off and then have him play in Wednesday's game at home.
Injury Bug Biting
In addition to Pierce, Delonte West, Theo Ratliff and Brian Scalabrine will not be available for Tuesday's game with the Knicks. West has an infection stemming from an ingrown toenail, and right now there's no timetable on a return.
"Infections can be dangerous, so I know that [the medical staff is] concerned about it," said Rivers.
Meanwhile Ratliff has a sore lower back and Scalabrine has a shoulder problem.
Heinsohn Gets Late Honor
Tommy Heinsohn scored his 10,000th point on March 17, 1963. As it turns out, any other night would have been a better occasion for the milestone, because it just happened to be Bob Cousy night at the Garden.
"I got to 10,000 points on Bob Cousy day, so nobody noticed it, not even me!" said Heinsohn on Monday, after the team presented him with a basketball after practice to honor his achievement 43 years after the fact since it was overshadowed on the night it actually happened.
Heinsohn finished his career with 12,194 points.