Pierce on playing vs. Heat: 'I need my rhythm'

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Pierce on playing vs. Heat: 'I need my rhythm'

BOSTON -- Doc Rivers approached Tuesday's game against the Miami Heat thinking he would sit Paul Pierce and play Kevin Garnett.

But with only two games left in the regular season, the Celtics captain told his coach he wanted to take the court.

Kevin Garnett told Rivers the opposite. He asked for two more days off to rest a hip flexor.

"It's funny, Kevin was the guy that for shootaround, I said, 'Kevin you're playing, Paul you're not playing,'" Rivers said prior to the game. "And Paul was like, 'No, I have to play. I need to play both games. I need my rhythm. I want to play.' And that's who Paul is. That's who Kevin is, too, really. And that's why I wanted to play them both."

Pierce missed the first three games of the season with a bruised right heel. He is averaging 19.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game this season, including 24.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.8 dimes over the last five games.

Morning Skate: Blackhawks get band back together

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Morning Skate: Blackhawks get band back together

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while knowing that nobody will ever forget the courage and zest for life that 5-year-old Red Sox fan Ari Schultz showed in his far too short life. Rest in peace, little guy.  

 *PHT writer James O’Brien has the Chicago Blackhawks adjusting to the returns of both Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp after their short stints away from the fold. It will be really interesting to see if the Blackhawks can recreate their magic by bringing some of the past Cup pieces to the scene after last year’s disappointing end.

*Ilya Kovalchuk is primed for a return to the NHL in 2018-19 after playing one more season, an Olympic season no less, in the KHL.

*Good piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Arpon Basu chronicling the day with the Cup in Montreal for Marc-Andre Fleury.

*Speaking of the Blackhawks, it sounds like Jonathan Toews is going to scale back on the “Captain Serious” approach to his hockey career this upcoming season.

*Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee is pleased with the state of his expansion team after looking at some of the pieces, and doing a little wheeling and dealing after the fact. I mean, you have to wheel and deal if you’re a hockey team in Vegas, right?

*Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar is relieved his new contract with the Winged Wheels will allow him to avoid arbitration.

*For something completely different: It remains to be seen whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but we’re completely in a culture where media entities are writing full stories about posters. Okay, I think this is a bad thing and my mind is already made up.