Celtics look to get Paul Pierce open
|05.16.12 at 12:31 pm ET|
PHILADELPHIA — The Celtics have had a hard time getting Paul Pierce open for shots in the first two games of their series with the 76ers. Part of that can be attributed to Pierce’s sprained knee. A lot of it can be attributed to Andre Iguodala’s defense. Whatever the reason, the Celtics are going to try to make adjustments for Wednesday night’s Game 3.
“We’re not sure where those spots are yet,” Doc Rivers said. “Usually with Paul, the elbow isos are great, but right now he can’t get away from anybody with his leg. We’re going to go to more pin-downs for him and do different things. You usually didn’t have to get a body off of him. He can usually shake the body on his own. I think now we have to use him a lot like Ray [Allen] and bring him off screens.”
Pierce was 2-for-9 in Game 2 and is just 5-for-20 in the series. Rivers added that he may try to get more post-up looks for Pierce to try to get him going.
Asked about the severity of Pierce’s injury, Rivers said, “I don’t do percentages. I don’t think Iguodala cares what percentage he is and that’s what counts. When he’s on the floor he’s 100 percent and that’s how we play our guys, that’s how we view it. Whether he is or isn’t really doesn’t matter. We have to get 100 percent out of him of what he has, that’s what we have to do.”
Pierce is far from the only player dealing with an injury for the Celtics. They took Tuesday off and watched film, so Wednesday’s shootaround was the first time they’ve been on the court since Game 2. As expected, there was much attention paid to the struggling offense.
“We have to be more aggressive offensively,” Rivers said. “In Game 1 and Game 2, we we’re basically taking jump shots. Nine free throws at home that should never happen.”
On Brandon Bass, who took a team-high 15 shots, but made just five of them, Rivers said: “I got to say, of the 15, 10 of them were wide-open shots. What should a guy who can shoot do with wide-open shots: He should shoot the ball. Obviously you’d like him to make them, but he didn’t.”
On Kevin Garnett, who had just 12 shots, Rivers said: “I don’t care if he doesn’t get shots but he has to get touches. If he gets touches and they trap then someone else is going to get shots. If he gets touches and they don’t trap then he’s going to get shots. But he has to get touches. He ended up with 18 of them, but 13 of them were in the third and fourth quarter. To me that’s too late. We fell in love with the jump shot and we fell in love with the random offense.”
MICKAEL PIETRUS REFLECTS
The last time Mickael Pietrus and the Celtics were at the Wells Fargo Center on March 23, the versatile reserve was taken off the court in a stretcher. Piertus suffered a severe concussion after he hit hit the floor while driving to the basket and he said the memory is always with him.
“I’m not going to lie you, it’s bad memories for me,” Pietrus said. “My life could have been a different life. I’m blessed, coming back here for the playoffs.”
Pietrus said before Game 2 that he will get arthroscopic surgery on his right knee — the same procedure he had after last season — but he’s delaying it until after the season. He will also be dealing with the after-effects of his concussion.
“That’s something I’m trying to put behind me, but I really can’t,” he said. “I’ve been through it. I’m trying to. Sometimes just by playing I have flashes. When somebody falls or when I’m driving sometimes, I’ll just have flashes. I’m going to try. … It’s going to go away this summer.”
Pietrus added that he drove to the basket early in Game 2 because, “It’s something I have to do right away. If I think of if it I won’t be good because I’ll be afraid to hurt myself.”
AVERY BRADLEY PLAYS THROUGH THE PAIN
After his left shoulder popped out in the second quarter, Avery Bradley didn’t return to the court until the beginning of the fourth quarter. He was a plus-18 in his 21 minutes, but his shoulder injury obviously is a major concern.
“It’s just not regular,” he said. “It just makes everything harder on me. I just got to be careful. Last game, seeing that it popped out, I had to really be careful. Try not to think about it. If it pops out it pops out, all I can do is keep rehabbing and do whatever is best for me and the team.”