Pierce in deciding games

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Pierce in deciding games

Not much to add leading up to tomorrow night's game. The Celtics have spent the last five months in many ways, the last five years building up to this moment. Now, 48 minutes will tell the difference between a once-unimaginable berth in the Eastern Conference Finals and the end of an era.

Crazy, crazy stuff.

In the aftermath of Game 6, Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett received a lot of attention for their uneven performances, and deservedly so. The two have carried the Celtics for the majority of the postseason, and for both to simultaneously play so poorly in a such a pivotal game they deserved every ounce of criticism. And if neither can step up tomorrow than the same depressing conversation from these last two days will be magnified by 1000 and carried out for the extent of the summer. Wah Wah.

But what about Paul Pierce?

The Captain's obviously not 100 percent, and as a result, we've learned to expect a little less. If he hasn't been at his best in any particular game, there's always the built-in "Yeah, but"

But this is Game 7. This is everything. Pierce maybe a little gimpy but he'll have plenty of time to rest if the Celtics fall short. They could really use a vintage PP performance.

Anyway, I was thinking: Over the course of his career, how has Pierce actually fared in deciding games?

Turns out this will be the eighth deciding game of the Truth's career. He's played in six previous Game 7s, and one Game 5. And here's how he's done:

June 17, 2010: Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers

Pierce: 45 minutes, 18 points, 10 rebounds

Celtics lose, 83-79.

May 17, 2009: Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics

Pierce: 38 minutes, 16 points, two rebounds

Celtics lose, 101-82

May 2, 2009: Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics

Pierce: 43 minutes, 20 points, nine rebounds

Celtics win, 109-99

May 4, 2008: Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics
Pierce: 32 minutes, 22 points, eight rebounds

Celtics win, 99-65

May 18, 2008: Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics
Pierce: 43 minutes, 41 points, four rebounds

Celtics win, 97-92

May 7, 2005: Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics
Pierce: 36 minutes, 19 points, seven rebounds

Celtics lose, 97-70

May 3, 2002: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics
Pierce: 44 minutes, 46 points, four rebounds

Celtics win, 120-87.

So that's seven games, and a 4-3 record for the Celtics.

An average of 26 points and 6.2 rebounds a night for Pierce.

If the C's can get that tomorrow, it's on to Miami.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan didn't get a chance to answer one question in his postgame interview before being interrupted by Kyle Lowry, Jared Sullinger, and LeGarrette Blount.

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

BOSTON – The trip to the TD Garden is one that Jared Sullinger has made many times but never like this. 

The former Celtic was back in town with his new team, the Toronto Raptors who signed him to a one-year, $5.6 million deal after the Celtics rescinded their qualifying offer to him and thus made him an unrestricted free agent. 

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“I had a feeling it was going to go that way once they signed big Al (Horford), that they were going to let me go,” Sullinger said prior to Friday’s game.  “We were prepared for it. It is what it is. I’m happy these guys are doing well.”

And he hopes to say the same for himself sometime in the future after undergoing surgery to have a screw inserted in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot – the same foot he had season-ending surgery on during the 2014-2015 season with the Celtics. 

There’s no specific timetable as to when he’ll be back on the floor, and Sullinger is cool with that plan. 

“I don’t know. They’re hiding the protocol from me so I won’t rush; we’ll see,” said Sullinger who is still in a walking boot. 

The 6-foot-9 forward played well in the preseason and solidified himself as the team’s starting power forward. 

Now that he’s out with another injury, he’ll have to once again try and prove himself either later this season when he returns, or this summer when he becomes a free agent again.

For now, Sullinger is happy to be back in town, seeing lots of familiar faces, friends and ex-teammates that he says he still keeps in close contact with. 

“Some of these guys I considered like brothers to me,” Sullinger said. “IT (Isaiah Thomas), Jae Crowder to name a few. So I watch from a distance, I support from a distance. They’re playing well.”

In addition to his former teammates, the lines of communication remained open between him and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens as well. 

Stevens said the two exchanged text messages right before he had foot surgery, and afterwards. 

“Obviously, everyone here wishes a speedy recovery and hopefully he gets back on the court soon,” Stevens said. 

Sullinger has been an effective player during his time in the NBA, with career averages of 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. 

But this will be the third time in his five NBA seasons that he will miss a significant amount of time on the court due to an injury or recovering from an injury. 

Stevens acknowledged that he feels for Sullinger who once again has to go through rehabilitation in order to get back on the floor.

“I like Jared a lot,” Stevens said. “He’s a heck of a player, he’s a really smart guy. Got a lot of respect for him and it stinks that he’s got to go through that but he’ll come back strong I’m sure.”