Pavlovic may start if Pierce (heel) can't

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Pavlovic may start if Pierce (heel) can't

Even though Marquis Daniels has started in the place of Paul Pierce (heel) while Pierce has been out, Daniels has clearly separated himself from the rest of the Celtics wing players. But that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be in the starting lineup if Pierce is unable to play in the Christmas Day opener at New York.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers likes having Daniels with that second unit, and may opt to instead start Sasha Pavlovic instead.

"Pavlovic's young, he's athletic. He's got some experience," said Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations. "He started in an NBA Finals series. Sasha's a good, all-around player. He just has to prove it on a more consistent basis, and I believe he'll get opportunities to do that this season."

First impressions: Ziegler can't finish Price's strong start

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First impressions: Ziegler can't finish Price's strong start

First impressions from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

1) David Price pitched in the truest sense

Price wasn't necessarily overpowering with only six strikeouts in eight innings, but he succeeded in keeping the ball down in the zone, resulting in a ton of groundouts.

In eight innings, the Angels produced just two flouts to the outfield, both of them routine.

Otherwise, Price deftly mixed his changeup, slider and two-seamer to produce ground balls. His location was more precise and he induced weak contact in at-bat after at-bat.

 

2) The danger of a closer like Brad Ziegler was on display

The throwing error by Hanley Ramirez resulted in two runs scoring but Ziegler allowed three base hits to set the stage.

Ziegler doesn't get a lot of swing-and-miss with his sinker; what he gets is a lot of balls put in play. When things are going well, that results in groundouts; when they're not, it means baserunners and strange things happening.

As inconsistent as Craig Kimbrel has been in some non-save situations, he at least has the ability to record strikeouts and keep balls out of play.  That's not the case with Zieger, as the Red Sox learned the hard way in Anaheim Thursday night.

3) The Red Sox wisely took advantage of Jered Weaver on the bases

Weaver's high leg kick and reliance on off-speed pitches make for a slow delivery time to the plate. Dustin Pedroia would have easily stole second in the first but made the mistake of going into his slide too far ahead of the bag, and though initially ruled safe, was deemed out after a replay challenge.

In the sixth, Xander Bogaerts, was more successful in his stolen base. Neither steal led to a run, but the Sox did put some additional pressure on Weaver