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Pierce: There’s nothing wrong with me

05.10.10 at 3:05 pm ET
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WALTHAM –When a player like Paul Pierce struggles offensively the way he has in the Celtics series with Cleveland, questions naturally arise. Most prominently: Is he hurt?

Pierce has dealt with a myriad of injuries this season, but given the caveat that every player is a little banged up at this point in the season, he stated flatly Monday after the Celtics went through a brief practice that he was fine.

“There’s nothing wrong with me,” Pierce said. “For me, it’s just being ready, being focused, giving my team whatever it needs to win. There’s nothing wrong with me.”

There are other mitigating factors that have contributed to his sub-par numbers (16-for-50, 4-for-18 from 3-point range). For one, he has found himself in early foul trouble and for another, he is guarding LeBron James at the other end of the floor.

“I’m digging myself a ditch as far as with my fouls,” Pierce said. “I think they’re good fouls that I’m giving, some bad ones, but that’s the way the game goes.”

“Paul’s fine,” Doc Rivers said when asked about his health. “Obviously we want more out of him, but we’re getting a lot out of him. I think, unfortunately for Paul, he’s an offensive players and that’s what everyone sees in him. He has a defensive role in this series and so they’re going to look at his offensive numbers. That’s the bad part of being Paul Pierce, really. If it was Tony Allen, people would be happy. He’s doing a great job defensively, but it’s Paul, so they want more. And we’re going to get more out of Paul. I believe that.”

Pierce was asked if he felt like he at least one vintage Paul Pierce game in him for the last three games of the series.

“I hope so, but that’s not something I’m pressing,” he said. “I’m trying to help my team win. Whether it’s scoring or defense, it’s about winning.”

Pierce is also a veteran, and he’s drawing on past experiences to get him through this stretch.

“I’m not a rookie,” Pierce said. “It is my 12th year. I’ve been in every situation. I know I can get through those times mentally. It doesn’t affect me like it used to when I was a younger player, where I had two or three fouls and not really playing the type of basketball I wanted to play. The key is to just stay focused and doing what you can do to help the team. All that other stuff goes out the window.”

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