Pierce playing with pinched nerve

993551.jpg

Pierce playing with pinched nerve

BOSTON -- Paul Pierce has kept his discomfort under wraps.
The Boston Celtics captain said Wednesday night he has been playing this season with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Pierce has been battling through pain and stepping up while three teammates went down for the season.
"It's something that's been bothering me probably like the last two months," Pierce said after the Celtics 71-69 win over the Chicago Bulls. "It's getting better, though. The last couple of weeks, it's been better than it has been."
The Celtics are pushing forward without the injured Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger, and Leandro Barbosa. Since Rondo suffered an ACL injury on January 25, Pierce has posted two triple-doubles and three double-doubles, bringing his season average up to 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game.
He struggled offensively on Wednesday, though, shooting 2-for-12 from the field (2-5 3PG). He posted 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists in 34 minutes.
When asked if Pierce had 'no legs' in the game, head coach Doc Rivers replied, "I don't think anyone did, I'm serious, on both teams. We're talking about our legs -- we won and scored 71 points. I just thought it was one of those games. As we all know, the last game before All-Star is a strange game."
Pierce is looking forward to the break before the Celtics head out on a west coast road trip next week. Once the C's do return to work, he hopes there will be more players available to help spell minutes.
I think its going to be necessary just for us to even have practice, probably have to add a guard, maybe another big man," he said. "We had walkthrough today and we had (former NBA guard) Tyronn Lue, one of our assistant coaches, out there participating in it. Most likely I think its going to be necessary just to have some depth maybe give me, Kevin (Garnett), Jason (Terry) some rest, especially during practices. Hopefully maybe they can contribute in a game."When it comes to team moves, he will leave it up to those in front office positions. His focus is helping the Celtics on the court.
"I'm just going to leave it up to them, him (Doc Rivers), Danny (Ainge)," he said. "They've got to get in there, come together this weekend, come up with the best available plan and work that out. Me? I'm going to take this time to rest, not really think about it, just leave it up to them."

Celtics are living by the 3-pointer at a historic level

Celtics are living by the 3-pointer at a historic level

BOSTON – It has been well-established that the Celtics are a three-point shooting, bombs away kind of team and nothing seems like it’ll deter them from continuing along that path.
 
But as we prepare for the second half of the season, beginning tonight against the New York Knicks, we come to realize Boston’s launching of 3-pointers isn’t just unusually high.
 
This group of Celtics rank among the league's all-time leaders in 3-point attempts by the halfway mark of the season.

And when you look at the company they’re keeping when it comes to 3-point shooting, it speaks to how important it has become in this NBA to have as many long-range shooting threats on the floor as possible if you're trying to win at a high level.
 
Boston’s 494 3-point attempts thus far this season ranks fourth all-time by the halfway point of a season. But this season, that’s just good enough to be third behind Houston and Golden State with 617 and 505 three-point attempts, respectively.
 
The other team in the top four all-time is last season's Golden State squad, which took 519 three-pointers by the midway point of the season.
 
And all those 3’s by the Celtics have included an NBA-record six straight games in which they made at least 15 3-pointers.
 
That has allowed the Celtics to score at least 100 points in 15 consecutive games, the franchise’s longest such streak since they reached the 100-point plateau in 19 straight games in 1991.
 
Of course Isaiah Thomas’ 3-point shooting stands out, particularly when you see how dominant he has been this season in the fourth quarter with a league-best 10.1 points per game.
 
But his offense, while potent, is aided heavily by the shot-making snipers coach Brad Stevens surrounds him with on a nightly basis.
 
That’s why you didn’t see Stevens or president of basketball operations Danny Ainge freak out earlier this season when the Celtics were struggling.
 
Kelly Olynyk, who shot better than 40 percent on 3’s a year ago, was still on the mend after offseason shoulder surgery.
 
Jae Crowder, whose 3-point shooting has steadily improved throughout his career, had some minor injuries that set him back and maybe more important, didn’t allow him to get into the kind of shooting rhythm we see now which has allowed him to shoot a team-best 42.6 percent on 3’s.
 
Al Horford, Thomas, Amir Johnson … they all missed some time due to injuries this season, which has impacted the team’s chemistry and timing.
 
But the past couple of weeks have seen the Celtics healthier than they’ve been most of this season, and it has allowed them to play with the kind of space they want which has allowed Thomas and his cohorts to take lots of lightly contested to open 3’s most of this season.
 
“We’ve got pretty good shooters on this team where you’ve got to pick your poison,” Thomas said. “We’re shooting at a high level, and I got to say, you just have to pick your poison who you want to stop and my job is just to make the right play each and every time down.”
 

Mike Gorman: 'No thanks on Carmelo Anthony to the Celtics'

Mike Gorman: 'No thanks on Carmelo Anthony to the Celtics'

The New York Knicks arrive in Boston tonight with the accompanying "Melo-drama" of Carmelo Anthony's disintegrating relationship with team president Phil Jackson.

Anthony would have to waive his no-trade clause to leave New York and Boston has been an oft-rumored destination. 

On "The Toucher and Rich Show", the longtime voice of the Celtics, Mike Gorman, said he hopes it doesn't happen. 

"I don't get it. I don't see it," Gorman said. "He's a ball stopper. One of the things that always intrigued me about Carmelo is when he's played with Team USA or an Olympic team, often he's the best player. Then you go and see him in a regular-season game and you say, 'Oh no, no."'