Pierce dealing with recent foul trouble

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Pierce dealing with recent foul trouble

ATLANTA If the Celtics are going to make the kind of end-of-the-season push they want to, chances are Paul Pierce will be a major cog in that effort.

But the captain can't do much if he's on the bench, a place that he has become far too familiar with lately.

Pierce fouled out of Boston's 98-91 loss at Denver on Saturday, and was in foul trouble before finishing with five fouls in Boston's 79-76 win at Atlanta on Monday.

Pierce had not fouled out all season before the Denver game, andhe only had one game (Jan. 22 at Washington) in which he was whistled for five personal fouls.

"I'm just getting caught with some tough calls that could go either way," Pierce said. "That's about it. I'm not worried about it."

Worrying about it won't do him or the Celtics any good.

But it is something he needs to be mindful of during this critical stretch of play for the short-handed Celtics.

While Pierce may not be worried, the same can not be said for his head coach, Doc Rivers.

It's one thing to pick up fouls that prevent easy scores, but Rivers sees many of Pierce's recent fouls, as being "silly."

"You just can't pick up silly fouls," Rivers said. "Three of his five (against Atlanta) were bad. I'm trying to get our team to understand, we don't have a margin for error."

Jermaine O'Neal (wrist) and Chris Wilcox (heart condition) are both out for the season, while a number of other Celtic players are battling an assortment of bumps and bruises.

And it's not just Pierce who has picked up bad fouls lately.

Against the Hawks, Rivers recalled a conversation he had with Kevin Garnett shortly after Garnett picked up an early foul in which he wrapped up an Atlanta player.

"I said, 'Kevin, we don't have fouls to give," Rivers recalled. "We're not 12-deep right now."

Rivers added, "We keep talking about it, but then you don't want to get in their way. You want them to play. Paul sets those open court picks for Rajon Rondo. He gets a (personal foul) call on that, and then he charges two, maybe three times."

Friday’s Red Sox-Angels lineups: Ramirez out, Holt back

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Friday’s Red Sox-Angels lineups: Ramirez out, Holt back

Hanley Ramirez is out of the Red Sox starting lineup as they open a three-game weekend series at Fenway Park tonight against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. 

Ramirez is day-to-day after he hurt his right side on a swing and miss on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays and left that game in the eighth inning.

Travis Wright moves to first place in place of Ramirez and Marco Hernandez will play third. Brock Holt returns from the disabled list and will play left field.

Steven Wright (8-5, 2.18 ERA) looks to bounce back from a loss in Texas in his last start. Jhoulys Chacin (3-6, 5.64) starts for the Angels. 

The lineups: 

ANGELS
Kole Calhoun RF
Mike Trout CF
Albert Pujols DH
Jefry Marte 3B
Daniel Nava LF
C.J. Cron 1B
Johnny Giovotella 2B
Carlos Perez C
Andrelton Simmons SS

Jhoulys Chacin RHP 

RED SOX
Mookie Betts CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Brock Holt LF
Travis Shaw 1B
Christian Vazquez C
Marco Hernandez 3B

Steven Wright RHP 
 

Backes: Most of the talk has me playing center for Bruins

Backes: Most of the talk has me playing center for Bruins

David Backes on the Felger and Mazz show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, and simulcast on CSN, tells fill-in hosts Jim Murray and Greg Dickerson there has also been some discussion with the Bruins of putting him on the wing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

Watch the video above for more. 

OFFSEASON

Celtics’ Young has seen first-hand the work Durant puts in

Celtics’ Young has seen first-hand the work Durant puts in

BOSTON – We have all seen what Kevin Durant can do in games. He’s a near 7-footer with lethal shooting range who, on most nights, makes the game look so easy.
 
Still, he is often praised for his work ethic in practice and offseason workouts, something Celtics guard/forward James Young knows from first-hand experience.
 
Last summer, Young spent time working out in the summer with Durant, who, like Young, is represented by Rich Kleiman of Roc Nation Sports.
 
Durant, the top free agent on the market this summer, has narrowed his list of potential teams to play for next season to six.
 
The Celtics made the cut and will get a face-to-face meeting with Durant this weekend.
 
You can add Young to the list of Celtics who would love to call Durant a teammate.
 
“He would mean a lot to the team,” Young said. “He would help the team out.”
 
The in-game production generated by Durant speaks for itself.
 
In nine NBA seasons, he has career averages of 27.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocked shots per game.
 
But just as impressive is what the 6-foot-11 forward does out of season.
 
“He was focused the whole time; 110 percent,” said Young, referring to working out with Durant last summer. “I try to do that in my workouts and just go from there.”
 
Durant, who is expected to meet with the Celtics on Saturday, will reportedly make a decision on July 4.