Doc: We don't expect Pierce to play Sunday

Doc: We don't expect Pierce to play Sunday
December 23, 2011, 8:41 pm
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WALTHAM -- The Boston Celtics aren't expecting a Christmas Day miracle from Paul Pierce on Sunday.
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 teams practice and will be re-evaluated on Saturday.
Pierce did light shooting after practice and Rivers noted he has been working out more. If he were able to suit up, Rivers would limit his minute off the bench.
Paul may wake up and say, Coach, I want to go, Rivers said. I can tell you this, its very unlikely hell start if he plays. I dont think thatll happen. So if he does play, hell play 15, 20 minutes, but right now I dont see him playing.
Without Pierce in the starting lineup, Rivers will most likely turn to Sasha Pavlovic, who started Wednesdays preseason game against the Toronto Raptors. Pavlovic has improved his defense since last season, and starting him will allow Rivers to keep the second unit in tact.
I just think they feel each other, and I think Marquis Daniels really helps, especially when we go with a five-man second unit, which I dont know if well do or not, he explained. But it just really helps the team.
So what would happen if Pierce told Rivers he can go on Sunday?
Its the medical staffs decision. Its 100 percent the medical staff, said Rivers. I think this year, its really going to have to be that because we cant trust them in that because if they do play, and then further their injury and miss 10 games, thats the same as 25 games in a normal year because of the shortened season.
He continued, I dont talk to the players about it. I talk to the medical staff about it, because you can talk to a player about injuries all day. When they get injured, their mental will tell them theyre not either way, so they cant be honest. They just literally cannot be honest with injuries. I dont think Ive ever met an honest player with injuries.