Pierce will play, but how effectively?

Pierce will play, but how effectively?
May 10, 2012, 11:59 pm
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BOSTON Doc Rivers confirmed that Paul Pierce (sprained MCL, left knee) will play tonight in Game 6 against the Atlanta Hawks.

How well and how long, however, remain to be seen.

"Obviously it's not the best situation," Rivers said. "But he is going to play. We just have to figure out what he can do on the floor."

One of Pierce's strengths in this series, when healthy, has been his ability to get to the free throw line.

In the first three games, Pierce averaged 10 free throw attempts per game. In the last two both of which have been played with his left knee injury Pierce has only taken one free throw attempt.

"He's not going to get to the free throw line as much. We know that," Rivers said. "It's just what it is. We have to try and create other ways, get Kevin Garnett in the post more. They're trapping him, so it's tough for him to get to the line as well. That clearly takes something away from us. We just have to find other ways to score."

Finding others to fill the scoring void will indeed be a challenge for Boston which ranks 10th ( out of 16 playoff teams) in scoring with 87.6 points per game. There are a number of Celtics like Mickael Pietrus who are seemingly due for a breakout-type game shooting.

Pietrus, who battled swelling in his right knee near the end of the season, has appeared in all five playoff games for the Celtics.

While his strongest asset in this series is his defense against Joe Johnson, the C's are also counting on him to make shots when given an opportunity.

That hasn't happened, with Pietrus missing 11 of his 14 shot attempts in this series.

"We need him. We need him to play well tonight," Rivers said. "Shot's just not going in right now. When you're shot doesn't go in and you're not a great player, your confidence obviously struggles a little bit. I think he's going through that some as well. I don't know if what's causing it is injuries or not."