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Doc on Pierce for Weds: ‘Wait and see’ 02.08.10 at 3:39 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Celtics captain Paul Pierce was pulled out of practice early on Monday after coach Doc Rivers felt his star didn’t look smooth on his strained left foot.

“Paul didn’t do a lot today,” Rivers said. “We actually pulled him out early. He was practicing and wasn’t moving very well so just took him out. He’s questionable. I think he’s going to play but right now we’ll wait and see.”

Marquis Daniels, meanwhile, looked good in practice after his first game back on Sunday following left thumb surgery. The team was forced to move up their departure to Tuesday morning in order to get into New Orleans ahead of the parade Tuesday afternoon for the Super Bowl winners.

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KG video: ‘It’s unpleasant’ 02.07.10 at 7:10 pm ET
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Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett reacted to Sunday’s 96-89 loss to the Orlando Magic.

“It’s unpleasant,” Garnett said. “We don’t like that at all. Our goal is to establish home court and try to add that as an advantage and we really haven’t done that consistently, at least against good teams.”

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Doc: ‘We played like crap’ at 6:52 pm ET
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Doc Rivers says in his postgame address that his team is not as good as it might think it is. The Celtics were outscored 36-11 in the third quarter and blew an 11-point halftime lead in a 96-89 loss to the Magic, dropping them to third in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics are have lost all seven home games this year against opponents with at least 30 wins.

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Pierce, Daniels make Magical returns at 2:00 pm ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers confirmed before Sunday’s game that Paul Pierce and Marquis Daniels will play against the Magic. Pierce missed the last two games with a left mid-foot strain while Daniels has been out since having surgery on a torn ligament in his left thumb.

“I didn’t think he looked great [Saturday] so we’ll just see,” Rivers said. “A lot of times, it’s just him testing it out instead of playing on it so it can fool you.”

Rivers said he did something he rarely does. He asked Pierce how he feels the day of the game.

“I went to him today, which I rarely do and went back to him, ‘Are you sure?’ And he said, ‘The pain’s on the top of the foot. It’s not anything under the foot. I can push off fine I just hope I don’t get kicked in it or stepped on.

“I said, ‘I’m sure that’s going to happen now.’ That’s all he’s concerned with.”

[Click here to hear Rivers talk about Pierce's return before the game.]

Pierce didn’t speak before the game about his return but Daniels did.

“I’m pretty excited,” Daniels said. “I’m ready to get out there and get active.”

His only concern is not having the thumb tested by getting it whacked in practice first before game action. To soften the expected blow, he will wear a bandage with a cushion on his left thumb.

“I still didn’t get it hit,” Daniels added. “I’m quite sure that somebody’s going to hit it today.”

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Kiki on his Nets: ‘We hung right in there’ 02.05.10 at 11:23 pm ET
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Nets head coach Kiki Vandeweghe addresses media after Celtics beat the Nets, 96-87, in Boston to drop his team to 4-45 on the season.

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NBA: Official Three-Point Shootout Field at 3:29 pm ET
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The NBA officially announced the  2010 Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout Field on Friday afternoon. Eddie House revealed that Pierce would be competing on Dale & Holley this past Thursday. Chauncey Billups of the Denver Nuggets joins Pierce to headline a field of six in this year’s Shootout. The event will  be held on Saturday,  Feb.  13,  at the American Airlines Center in Dallas as part of NBA All-Star  Saturday  Night. Pierce will hope to dethrone defending champion Daequan Cook of the Miami Heat.

Rounding  out  the field are Stephen  Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Danilo Gallinari of the New York Knicks and the Phoenix Suns’ Channing Frye.

FOOT LOCKER THREE-POINT SHOOTOUT YEAR-BY-YEAR WINNERS

1986 – Larry Bird, Boston
1987 – Larry Bird, Boston
1988 – Larry Bird, Boston
1989 – Dale Ellis, Seattle
1990 – Craig Hodges, Chicago
1991 – Craig Hodges, Chicago
1992 – Craig Hodges, Chicago
1993 – Mark Price, Cleveland
1994 – Mark Price, Cleveland
1995 – Glen Rice, Miami
1996 – Tim Legler, Washington
1997 – Steve Kerr, Chicago
1998 – Jeff Hornacek, Utah
2000 – Jeff Hornacek, Utah
2001 – Ray Allen, Milwaukee
2002 – Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento
2003 – Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento
2004 – Voshon Lenard, Denver
2005 – Quentin Richardson, Phoenix
2006 – Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
2007 – Jason Kapono, Miami
2008 – Jason Kapono, Toronto
2009 – Daequan Cook, Miami

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Daniels feels like Forrest Gump 02.04.10 at 5:32 pm ET
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Marquis Daniels (AP)

Marquis Daniels (AP)

WALTHAM — When Marquis Daniels eventually returns to game action, he shouldn’t be that much out of breath.

That’s because the most versatile player on the roster has been put through a strict running program to make sure he’s in shape once his surgically repaired left thumb is ready for game action.

“I think they did a good job of running me,” Daniels said. “I’ve turned into Forrest Gump a little bit. I’m glad to be back. It feels like the first day of school, very excited. I’m just ready to get back out there and play and be a part of the team and just feel more wanted out there. Hopefully, I can another good practice in and maybe [play] Sunday.”

And while he wasn’t doing much running on Thursday in practice (see below), he was busy learning new plays that coach Doc Rivers has installed in his 27-game absence.

“He put a couple more sets in, but for the most part it’s pretty much the same thing. I just have to learn three positions, the point guard, the 2 and the 3. It’s coming along pretty simple, so hopefully I can pick them up by next practice.”

That next practice will be Saturday, meaning it’s highly unlikely he plays — or is needed for that matter — against New Jersey on Friday. When he does, he wants to be sure his thumb is ready for a hit. If he can take a hit in practice, he believes he’ll be game-ready.

“Just getting hit,” Daniels said Thursday. “Everything else is pretty much mental. I think my conditioning is OK. It’s not the best, but it’s the best it can be without playing basketball. Other than that, once I get that first hit on it, I think I’ll be OK.”

Rivers spent nearly 30 minutes with Daniels and the second unit at the end of practice as he tries to help Daniels get back to speed in time for a possible weekend return to action.

After several days of shooting and basketball-related drills, Thursday marked Daniels’ first practice back with the team.

Daniels said the biggest hurdle for him will be taking a blow to the thumb, which was wrapped in white protective bandage for his first practice back.

“It wasn’t a great practice for him,” Rivers said. “We didn’t do a lot. We didn’t do really anything live, so it wasn’t a great practice for him. Just trying to get him some rhythm, which is good.”

Rivers added that he doubts Daniels will be ready to play against New Jersey on Friday but more likely set for a Sunday return against Orlando.

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