OFFSEASON

Pierce (sprained MCL) will play in Game 6

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Pierce (sprained MCL) will play in Game 6

WALTHAM Paul Pierce has a sprained MCL in his left knee that has bothered him in Games 4 and 5, but it won't keep him out of tonight's game.

Pierce was among the Boston Celtics to participate in the team's morning shoot-around.

Team officials confirmed Pierce's MCL injury, but added that he will not be listed as a game-time decision.

Pierce initially suffered the injury during shoot-around prior to the C's 101-79 Game 4 blowout win. Because of the lopsided nature of the victory, the Celtics Captain logged less than 17 minutes. However, he re-aggravated the injury in Game 4 and was on the bubble for playing in Game 5.

Pierce made the start, but it was clear that the knee was giving him some problems. Having Pierce at less than full strength limited one of the few Celtic players who can create their own shot off the dribble.

The most glaring area in which Pierce's knee injury had a noticeable impact, was in the number of free throws attempted by Pierce in Game 5 - zero.

In the C's three wins over Atlanta, Pierce has averaged more than nine free throw attempts. In the two losses, that number plunges to just 1.5 per game.

OFFSEASON

Who will make the Celtics roster?

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Who will make the Celtics roster?

BOSTON – Regardless of what the Celtics do in the offseason, there will always be position battles in training camp.

But when the players arrive in a few weeks, a handful will have more at stake than just a roster spot.

Boston currently has 18 players with full or partially guaranteed contracts, a number that has to be pared down to 15 or less by the time the regular season begins.

The math is pretty cut and dry. Barring a trade, at least three players have to be let go.

But who will they be?

That’s for Brad Stevens and the rest of the Celtics brass to figure out.

In the meantime, here’s a look at five Celtics who, barring a trade, are likely to be among the pool of players Boston will be picking from for what should be the last couple of roster spots.

OFFSEASON

Boston Celtics announce 2016 preseason schedule

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Boston Celtics announce 2016 preseason schedule

New England fans will get their first glimpse at the 2016-2017 Boston Celtics when they kick off their preseason schedule on October 4 against the Philadelphia 76ers at UMass-Amherst’s Mullins Center.

That game will feature two of the top three picks in last month’s draft as Ben Simmons, the top overall pick, will face Jaylen Brown, who was drafted by the Celtics with the third overall pick.

Boston’s 7-game schedule features no back-to-back games, but they do face the Charlotte Hornets in their second and third preseason games on Oct. 6 (in Greensboro, N.C.) and Oct. 8 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Here’s a look at Boston’s full preseason schedule:

DATE               OPPONENT                  LOCATION                                                        TIME
Oct. 4               Philadelphia 76ers         UMass-Amherst Mullins Center (Amherst, MA)     7:00 p.m. ET
Oct. 6               Charlotte Hornets          Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, NC)             7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 8               Charlotte Hornets          Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, CT)                  3:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 13             Brooklyn Nets               Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY)                          7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 15             New York Knicks           Madison Square Garden (New York, NY)             7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 17             Brooklyn Nets               TD Garden (Boston, MA)                                   7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 19             New York Knicks           TD Garden (Boston, MA)                                   7:30 p.m. ET