Pierce looking for longevity

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Pierce looking for longevity

BOSTON -- It has been said for years that the Celtics window of opportunity is closing. Doc Rivers mentioned it on Tuesday. Kevin Garnett recently said, given the uncertainty of the future, he is focused solely on this season.

Paul Pierce, though, has a different outlook.

Pierce, 34, is looking at the road ahead for himself and his teammates. And he thinks it will be a long one. Even though Allen and Garnett are in their mid 30s (36 and 35, respectively) and in the final years of their contracts, Pierce believes there is still much more basketball to be played.

I really didnt even put any thought into it because I really see Kevin and Ray (Allen) really playing past this year, hopefully with the Boston Celtics even though their contracts are up, Pierce said at Celtics Media Day. But if Doc wants to use that as motivation, then I will.

At this point in his career, Pierce is no longer focused on individual achievements. He wants to help the Celtics win another championship, and he personally wants to stay in the league as long as possible.

Watching his teammates over the years has sparked new habits in Pierce to extend his time in the game.

Ive taken a lot of things from a lot of the guys Ive been around, he said. Ray is one, Kevin, just the way they do things, the preparation, even to the ways they eat Ive changed a lot. Hopefully it will help me with the longevity of playing a few more years and also playing at a high level.

He uses one teammate in particular as a measuring stick.

Right now, my motivation is to play longer than Ray, Pierce said. I think hes going to play another five years. I dont know if Ill make it, but hes definitely been my inspiration, just the way hes been consistently great even at his age of his 42 sarcasm. Its just amazing. Hes just a genetic wonder.

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics are about to hit one of the toughest stretches of the season and they’ll have to do it for at least one more game without their leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas. 
 
Thomas, who suffered a right groin injury on Monday against the Houston Rockets, did not play on Wednesday against Orlando and said that he will not play in Friday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors. 
 
“It’s day to day. I want to play. I want to be out there but it’s the smart decision to hold out and wait until it’s 100 percent,” Thomas said during a Season of Giving event for children of the Military Friends Foundation held at the Celtics’ practice facility. “If it was a playoff game I would be out there for sure.”
 
However, after consulting with a number of medical personnel, Thomas decided the best thing for him and the Celtics was to sit out Friday’s game which, along with Wednesday in Orlando, will be the first two he has missed since the 2014-2015 season. 
 
Thomas said there’s no specific timetable for his return, but he said he is planning to travel with the team to Oklahoma City for their matchup against the Thunder on Sunday. 
 
“It’s eating me a live to sit, but I have to do what’s best for my body, I have to do what’s best for this team,” Thomas said. “I need to be 100 percent healthy to give this team what I can give them.”
 
The Celtics are hoping for similar success they had Wednesday in Orlando (a 117-87 victory) on Friday against Toronto.
 
“They played a hell of a game last night,” Thomas said. “They’ll be ready tomorrow.”
 
The fact that Thomas intends to travel with the team is a good sign that the groin injury isn’t too serious. 
 
If he doesn’t play at Oklahoma City, that likely means he’ll return to action on Wednesday at San Antonio. 
 
“I’m going to do what I can to get back out there on the court,” Thomas said. “I gotta be smart about this. I don’t want this to linger on this season.”
 
Replacing Smart in the lineup against Toronto will most likely be Marcus Smart. 
 
Smart, who has been a replacement starter at small forward and point guard this season, had 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Magic.