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."

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Williams surprises with big first half

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Halftime stars, studs and duds: Williams surprises with big first half

BOSTON – Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Game 5 between Boston and Cleveland as the Cavs have a comfortable 75-57 lead.

STARS

LeBron James

He is definitely in triple-double mode tonight, tallying 20 points along with seven rebounds and seven assists at the half while shooting a blistering 7-for-8 from the field primarily on lay-ups and dunks.

Avery Bradley

The deficit is huge, but it hasn’t stopped Avery Bradley from playing with the kind of focus and desperation that sadly, most of his teammates are lacking tonight. He has 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting.

 

STUDS

Deron Williams

Easily the biggest surprise of the game tonight, D-Will looks like the D-Will from a few years ago that was viewed as one of the top point guards in the NBA. He has 14 points at the half on 5-for-6 shooting.

Jae Crowder

The Celtics have to be careful with Crowder in the second half. He has 11 points on 3-for-5 shooting and is doing a good job of attacking the Cavs defense and getting to the free throw line. But he also has three personal fouls.

Kevin Love

Once again Kevin Love got off to a fast start for the Cavaliers, and has 12 points along with seven rebounds at the half.

Kyrie Irving

Like the rest of the Cavs, Irving has also had a solid start shooting the ball. He has 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting to go with three assists.

 

DUDS

Kelly Olynyk

He’s in the starting lineup ahead of Amir Johnson for his ability to help space the floor with his shot-making. So far, shot-taking is all Olynyk has done in the first half. He’s scoreless at the half, missing all four of his shots from the field while grabbing just two rebounds.

 

Brown (hip) and Johnson (shoulder) will play in Game 5

Brown (hip) and Johnson (shoulder) will play in Game 5

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics are far from being healthy heading into tonight’s must-win Game 5, but they will have all of their players available with the exception of Isaiah Thomas (hip).

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown (right hip) was questionable heading into tonight’s game, but he told CSNNE.com earlier that he was planning to give it a go tonight.

Boston head coach Brad Stevens confirmed later on that the 6-foot-7 rookie would in fact play tonight.

His presence tonight is one of the many keys to Boston’s efforts to keep their season alive.

They trail Cleveland 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, with a loss tonight ending their season and with that, sending the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals for the third straight season.

Boston’s Amir Johnson (right shoulder) did not play in Game 4, but will be in uniform and available to play tonight. Stevens said the 6-foot-9 veteran was healthy enough to play in Game 4 but Stevens elected to keep him out of the game because he wanted Johnson to have more than one day to rest his shoulder before potentially playing him again.

In other injury-related news, Stevens confirmed comments made earlier in the day by Danny Ainge regarding Isaiah Thomas’ right hip injury which led to the Celtics shutting him down for the playoffs after the injury proved to be too much for him to play through at halftime of Boston’s Game 2 loss.

Speaking during 98.5 the Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show, Ainge said there was “a lot” of inflammation around the affected joint on Thomas’ right hip.

“It had gotten worse from the MRI’s he had before,” said Ainge who added that it would have been “irresponsible to allow him to play anymore.”

Said Stevens: “It sounds to me like the course of action right now … is let the inflammation go down a little bit.”

Ainge said earlier that because of the inflammation, it will likely be at least a couple weeks before Thomas and the Celtics will know if he will require surgery or whether another form of treatment will be needed.

Because of that uncertainty, Ainge stressed that Thomas would not return to play in this series even if it were closer.

“No. No way. He’s done (for the season),” Ainge said.