Pierce gaining confidence in return from bruised heel

Pierce gaining confidence in return from bruised heel
January 3, 2012, 5:11 am
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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.