The Celtics probably won't be getting the season started off on the right foot. Literally.
Paul Pierce is still dealing with the heel bruise that he suffered at the beginning of training camp and forced him to sit out of both preseason games. The injury is apparently bad enough that the Captain will likely miss the season opener on Sunday against the Knicks. (CSN New England)
Following practice on Friday, coach Doc Rivers says it's still doubtful Pierce (right heel) will play on Opening Day against the New York Knicks. The Celtics captain didn't participate in the team's practice and will be re-evaluated on Saturday.
"Paul may wake up and say, 'Coach, I want to go,'" Rivers said. "I can tell you this, it's very unlikely he'll start if he plays. I don't think that'll happen. So if he does play, he'll play 15, 20 minutes, but right now I don't see him playing."
The report also says that the legendary Sasha Pavlovic (in case you were wondering, that's sarcasm) would most likely start in place of Pierce should Pierce be forced to the sidelines as Rivers is determined to keep Marquis Daniels a part of the second unit. Rivers still plans on going with a five-man cohesive second unit regardless of Pierce's injury status and Daniels is a big part of that.
Obviously, you never want to lose your best player to injury. Even more obvious is that you don't want to lose your best player to injury when you're being forced to play 213,764 games in four months. But Rivers knows that he'll need Pierce refreshed and as close to 100 percent for the postseason. Playing him now, where he could injure the heel more and miss more time, isn't worth the trouble that it could cause come April and May. Unfortunately, that means we have to suffer through a boatload of Pavlovic until Pierce is healthy enough to return.
It's safe to say that wasn't on my Christmas list.