ATLANTA There is a fine line between playing through pain and having that play hurt the team.
Greg Stiemsma found himself treading -- scratch that, more like sinking below - that fine line on Friday which is why C's coach Doc Rivers opted to keep him off the floor for the entire second half of Boston's 97-92 loss to Atlanta.
"Greg's foot was bothering him, so we pulled him," Rivers said.
After the game, Stiemsma said both of his feet have been bothering him lately, with the left one - the one with plantar fasciitis - bothering him more on Friday.
"It's just been a lot of games, a lot of minutes and not a lot of days off so it all kind of adds up," Stiemsma said. "But I'll be alright."
With plantar fasciitis in his left foot and a bone bruise in the other, Stiemsma has the kind of injuries that can only heal with time and rest - neither of which Stiemsma or the Celtics have a lot of right now.
Boston has essentially kept him off the floor during shoot-arounds and practices to help preserve his feet from any added pounding.
"This season his foot is just not going to get completely better," Rivers said.
Stiesma admits he hasn't been as forthcoming as he should have been about how much his feet have bothered him lately even with a slew of treatments.
"It's hard to take yourself out, to ever admit that you're a little sore and hurting," Stiemsma said. "It's not fair to the team; it's not fair to yourself to play when you're not at 100 percent, when you can't do the things that you need to do. I was feeling kind of slow out there tonight. I think I looked like it, too."
He did, which is why Rivers didn't hesitate to give his minutes in the second half to Ryan Hollins who had his best game as a Celtic with eight points and five rebounds. "He has to be more honest with us about how he's feeling," Rivers said of Stiemsma. "That's a lesson he should learn from this."