Pierce taking heel injury slow

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Pierce taking heel injury slow

BOSTON Paul Pierce did not play in the Boston Celtics' intrasquad scrimmage on Friday night, and it wasn't necessarily because the C's were being overly cautious with his right heel injury.

"If this was a regular-season game, I probably wouldn't be able to play," Pierce told CSNNE.com prior to Friday's game that was won, 52-51, by the White team. "It's the type of injury if you play on it, it'll linger and get worse."

The injury, Pierce said, happened just days before the start of training camp.

"This happened at home," Pierce said. "I was working out, playing basketball. That Monday, before training camp, I had bruised my heel."

Pierce said he immediately informed the Celtics of what happened.

They recommended X-rays, but with camp just around the corner, Pierce opted to simply rest the heel until the start of camp and then have X-rays taken.

"They came back negative," he said. "It's been getting better and better every day."

Since the injury, Pierce has been doing some light shooting while wearing heel protectants.

As far as when he'll be back on the court, Pierce said he anticipates being ready to play in the Celtics' second and final preseason game against Toronto, on Dec. 21.

With the NBA lockout lasting 149 days, Pierce is among the many NBA players itching to get back on the court.

That, more than anything else, is what makes his current injury so frustrating.

"That's been eating at me the most," he said. "That we're back, but I haven't been able to be out there in practice. Just knowing that everything is so scrunched together, and the season starts in about a week and a half."

But when the season starts, Pierce says he'll be ready.

That's part of the reason why he's not trying to get back on the court until he feels the injury is fully heeled.

"You look toward the long run," Pierce said. "When you have long playoff runs over the last few years, it's a marathon sprint. You want guys to be able to come in and play extended minutes. You know how important guys come playoff time will be, like me, Ray (Allen), Kevin (Garnett) and knowing that we are a little bit older and we need a little bit more rest."

WATCH: Celtics vs. Hornets

WATCH: Celtics vs. Hornets

Tune into CSN to watch the Celtics host the Hornets at TD Garden. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by McDonald's on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

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Celtics-Hornets preview: Boston, Charlotte heading in opposite directions

Celtics-Hornets preview: Boston, Charlotte heading in opposite directions

BOSTON -- The last time Boston saw the Charlotte Hornets last month, both teams were streaking in the wrong direction with each coming in having lost three in a row.

Both come into tonight’s game streaking, although in two very different directions.

Boston (25-15) has won 12 of its last 15 games to firmly establish itself as the third-best team in the East behind Cleveland and Toronto. Meanwhile the Hornets (20-20) are on the cusp of falling below .500 for the first time this season after losing their last four games.

Still, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has seen enough of this Hornets team to know that a win tonight won’t come easily.

“This is a good team,” Stevens said. “We all know Charlotte. They don’t beat themselves. We’ve had to play really well against those guys. This is going to be a tough one, as we all know.”

Figuring out why these two teams are trending in opposite directions isn’t all that complicated.

For the Celtics, their success of late has hinged heavily on their ability to make 3-pointers. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s problems have had a lot to do with a tough slate of road games (all four of their recent losses were on the road) and their inability to make shots which has been an issue in some form for them all season regardless of the opponent.

Look at the last four games, all of which the Hornets lost while the Celtics won three of their four games in that span.

The Hornets rank 21st in scoring with a 101.5 points per game average while the Celtics average 110.8 points which ranks 8th in the league.

Charlotte ranks dead-last in the league the last four games when it comes to shooting the ball (40.5 percent), while Boston comes in 18th at 46.0 percent.

But it’s the 3-point shot and its impact on having an effective field goal percentage, that really separates these two.

Boston has averaged a league-best 15.3 made 3-pointers in the last four games while the Hornets and their 9.8 made 3’s ranks 20th.

And as far as its impact on eFG%, Boston comes in with the eighth-best eFG% in the league (54.8 percent) while the Hornets next-to-last in the NBA with an eFG% of .462.

So what does that mean tonight?

Boston will look to continue being fueled offensively by good ball movement and attacking the rim which in turn should result in lots of good looks from 3-point range which is clearly a strength of this team.

Charlotte will search for other sources of offense besides former UConn star Kemba Walker who is on the short list of candidates for a spot on this year’s Eastern Conference all-star roster.

As was the case in Charlotte’s 102-93 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, an off-night shooting for Walker (17 points, 7-for-23 shooting with three assists) left the Hornets extremely vulnerable to defeat. Similar struggles tonight will provide a similar ending for Charlotte which would allow both teams to continue streaking along … something the Celtics wouldn’t mind at all.