As expected, Pierce will play tonight vs. Celtics

As expected, Pierce will play tonight vs. Celtics
December 10, 2013, 6:00 pm
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BROOKLYN, N.Y. — We all anticipated Paul Pierce would be in a different role when he was traded from Boston to Brooklyn, but few anticipated him coming off the bench.

Pierce, who broke his right (shooting) hand on Nov. 29 against Houston, will come off the bench tonight for the Nets as they host the Boston Celtics.

Following Brooklyn's practice on Monday, Pierce said there was "a good chance" that he would return to the Nets lineup tonight.

And while Pierce's conditioning may very well be an issue, Brooklyn head coach Jason Kidd said the 36-year-old will not have any minutes restrictions.

The news of him coming off the bench isn't that big a shock considering how open Pierce was in discussing it on Monday.

"I'm not a selfish player," he said. "If it's something that's best for the team and it's going to help us win ball games, whatever it is. If I have to come off the bench, if it's I gotta not play, if I have to be a cheerleader on the sideline, if it's going to help us win I'm willing to do that."

Pierce has appeared in 15 games (all starts) this season, averaging 12.4 points while shooting 36.8 percent from the field and 26.8 percent on 3s - all career lows.

His return was something that Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said he anticipated.

"When the reports came out yesterday that he was considering playing, we figured he was going to play," Stevens said. "It doesn't change how we prepared because we prepared for him to play.