Pierce's metal-plated brace just for practice

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Pierce's metal-plated brace just for practice

PHILADELPHIA, PA Paul Pierce was rocking a new look at the Boston Celtics shoot-around this morning, one that he made clear was not a fashion statement or a look you're going to see tonight.

As the Celtics began to prepare for their morning shoot-around, Pierce sat in his locker stall with a bulky, metal-plated brace on his left knee.

Pierce was recently diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament injury in his left knee.

But to paraphrase that great poet of our generation, Allen Iverson, the brace was strictly for practice man, not the game, we're talking about practice.

"When I first hurt it, it was in shoot-around," Pierce said. "So why have another accident in shoot-around?"

Still, Pierce is taking protective measures in games to ensure the injury doesn't get any worse due to the wear and tear he's sure to put on it on a nightly basis.

In games, Pierce has been wearing a softer, elastic brace on both knees which will likely continue tonight in Game 4.

"Throughout my last few years, y'all seen me wear two braces lots of times," Pierce said. "I just decided to wear them now."

Of greater concern for Pierce and the Celtics will be continuing to limit the dribble penetration of Philadelphia's perimeter players such as Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams.

"That's an emphasis; that's a key to their team," Pierce said. "You got penetrating guards like Lou Williams, (Andre) Iguodala, Holiday that's really the true key to their ball club. They don't really feed the post a lot. That's been our emphasis from the start of the series."

Pierce added, "the key is to help, recover, and try to guard your man one-on-one. We did a great job of that (in Game 3)."

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