Pierce gaining confidence in return from bruised heel


Pierce gaining confidence in return from bruised heel

BOSTON -- After missing the first three games of the regular season with a bruised right heel, Paul Pierce scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Mondays win over the Washington Wizards.

Still, the Celtics captain says he has a ways to go.

Im probably at like 80 percent as far as the foot is concerned, he said following the 100-92 victory. I still have to get my treatment. Theres still some bruising in the foot. I have to wear a lot of padding in my shoes. Its coming along, but Im feeling more confident I think. Im not even thinking about it, and thats the good part.

Pierce, who scored a total of 21 minutes in the previous two games, hit his stride after halftime. He shot 3-for-4 from long range in 15 second-half minutes.

I think its just mentally, maybe I just need to slow down, he said. I think Im rushing things a little bit and its hurting our team when I come out early and I turn the ball over, I shoot airballs, and stuff like that, miss defensive assignments. So Ive just got to slow down and just focus on just doing the right things and just rushing, and its just about doing the little things, I think, for me at the start of games.

While Pierce hopes to get off to better starts, he knows establishing his rhythm wont happen overnight. He looks to build it up over the next handful of games.

"It's going to take me some time, he said. Like seven, eight, nine, ten games before I really think I can get it going and really be consistent out there, so its good to see some shots go down.

Rajon Rondo suspended by Bulls for 'heated exchange'

Rajon Rondo suspended by Bulls for 'heated exchange'

Former Celtics and current Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo is up to his old tricks, apparently.

The Bulls have suspended Rondo for Monday’s game due to conduct detrimental to the team, with Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical saying that the suspension is the result of a “heated exchange” the 30-year-old had with a Bulls assistant during or after the team’s 107-82 loss to the Mavericks Saturday. 

Rondo clashing with others is nothing new. He once shattered a television on which the Celtics were showing him game footage to critique him and had to be carried out kicking and screaming by Kevin Garnett. Chris Sheridan reported in 2013 that Doc Rivers had an “intense dislike” for Rondo and that the two almost fought.

After being traded out of Boston, Rondo was suspended for a game by the Mavericks after a shouting match with Rick Carlisle. Last December, he was suspended for calling referee Bill Kennedy a homophobic slur, leading to Kennedy coming out as gay. 

Interestingly enough, there's something of a pattern of Rondo's bigger infractions occuring in games against former teams. The Kennedy incident came in a game against the Celtics, while this recent one was against Dallas. 

This is the first season of a two-year, $28 million Rondo signed with the Bulls in the offseason. He is averaging 8.2 points per game, 7.2 assists per game and 6.7 rebounds a night. 

WATCH: Celtics vs. Rockets


WATCH: Celtics vs. Rockets

Tune into CSN to watch the Celtics play the Rockets in Houston. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by McDonald's on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game Preview: Get ready for 3-point showdown

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

[SHOP: Gear up, Celtics fans!]

- Live Extra FAQ: All your questions answered

- Latest on the Celtics: All of the most recent news and notes

- Talk about the game via social media on CSN's Pulse, presented by Ford