|Van Gundy won’t ‘bury’ Pierce, KG in All-Star Game||02.07.10 at 4:14 pm ET|
The temptation is there for Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy. As coach of the East in the NBA All-Star Game on Valentine’s Day, he knows he’ll have three Celtics at his beck and call. He would love to play them a lot, put a few more miles on their tires.
But with the two teams squaring off Sunday at the Garden, a week before the big game at Cowboys Stadium, he doesn’t see much point in wearing out Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo so Celtics coach Doc Rivers doesn’t have to worry too much.
“He’s got a better chance of me resting his guys because we don’t play him again. So, if we played him the week after the All-Star Game, they’d all go about 42 minutes,” Van Gundy joked before Sunday’s game. “But with us not playing them again, I can’t get much out of burying them.”
But seriously, Van Gundy has the challenge every coach in every sport has in an in-season All-Star Game. How do you manage players on competing teams in an exhibition game that means nothing in the standings?
“I would plan to get together with all of them, but particularly I know Paul and Kevin have had injury concerns and see where they are.”
[Click here to hear Van Gundy dish on the Celtics and the All-Star Game.]
So, in doing his homework, Van Gundy is consulting the Celtics — specifically assistant coach Mike Longabardi.
“I just told Michael Longbardi to make sure if Doc has concerns that he lets me know, too, ahead of time,” Van Gundy said.
“I’m not looking to hurt anybody, and at the same time, obviously, Kevin was voted into the game by the fans and Paul’s a perennial All-Star, so fans are going to want to see those guys, so you can’t play them five or six minutes. Particularly Kevin as a starter, he’s got to put in some minutes, but we’ll see where they are and where Doc is.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Pierce, Daniels make Magical returns||at 2:00 pm ET|
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.”
|Pierce expects to play against Magic||02.06.10 at 4:35 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Paul Pierce (left foot sprain) practiced on Saturday and expects to play on Sunday against the Magic. Doc Rivers said it will be a game day decision based on the fact that Pierce looked hesitant on live plays, but Pierce says he is ready to go. He categorized his recovery as “not quite one-hundred percent but it’s good enough for me to play.”
“I think it’s my decision,” he said. “[Doc] asked me if I could play tomorrow and I told him yeah. I got out there and did some of the drills we had going on today.”
As for Wednesday’s contest against the Hornets and All-Star Weekend (Pierce is slated to participate in the Three-Point Shootout and All-Star Game), he will determine how much he can play after Sunday’s game. Considering he has been able to walk around on his foot and has not required any extra tape or a boot, he hopes he won’t have to miss anything and still be ready for the upcoming West Coast road trip.
For him, it’s a matter of healing. But he won’t push himself either.
“If things don’t work out, then they’re not going to work out,” he said.
|Doc on Pierce: Still ‘Day-to-day’||02.05.10 at 7:45 pm ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Paul Pierce continued his cardio workout on Friday but is still unsure whether the team’s captain will be able to return on Sunday for the showdown with the Orlando Magic at TD Garden.
“It’s day-to-day,” Rivers said of Pierce’s left mid-foot strain. “That’s about it, really. He’s moving around, shooting around a little bit. I don’t know yet.”
Marquis Daniels, meanwhile, will practice again on Saturday but Rivers said there’s still no guarantee he’ll be ready to play against Orlando. Rivers’ main concern is not the thumb but rather the ability of Daniels to run the team’s offensive sets that have been installed since he last played on Dec. 4.
“I’m not so sure about him on Sunday.” Rivers, whether Daniels will be prepared to return. “We’ll have to throw him in eventually.”
For Daniels, it’s his 28th straight game missed following ligament surgery on his left thumb.
[Click here to listen to Doc Rivers compare the 2010 Nets to the 24-win 2007 Celtics.]
Other pregame notes included Rivers’ thoughts on being the third-longest tenured coach with one team in the NBA behind Jerry Sloan [Utah] and Gregg Popovich [San Antonio].
“Really, I didn’t know that,” Rivers said. “That’s unbelievable. You Boston guys [media], I thought you were tough. That’s surprising. They’re some guys out there that clearly should be doing this a lot longer than me. You know how this league is – it’s a talent-based league. If you have enough of it and do your job with it, then you stay.
The pregame discussion ended with his thoughts on Sunday’s big game between Indianapolis and New Orleans.
“Super Bowl predictions?,” Rivers said, repeating the question asked of him. “The Saints, what the [heck]. No reason for that. Maybe the reason is I’ve heard about Colts. I wondered if [the Colts] were playing anybody so I’m going with the other team.”
|Pierce officially in Three-Point Shootout||at 3:37 pm ET|
Paul Pierce is now officially among the field of six who will take part in the NBA Three-Point Shootout on Sat., Feb. 12, in Dallas. Pierce’s 46.7 percent from long range this year leads the group, though his 37.0 percent career rate from distance is the second worst among the six competitors, behind only 2009 champion Daequan Cook of the Heat.
No member of the Celtics has won since Larry Bird took each of the first three Three-Point Shootout titles, from 1986-88. Read the rest of this entry »
|NBA: Official Three-Point Shootout Field||at 3:29 pm ET|
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
|Pierce on injury: ‘It’s not the end of the world’||02.04.10 at 4:22 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Paul Pierce spoke on Thursday for the first time since being diagnosed with a left mid-foot sprain that forced him to miss Wednesday night’s game against Miami and will likely keep him out of action against New Jersey on Friday night.
But the All-Star forward said he has reason to think he might be back by Sunday when the team takes on the Orlando Magic at TD Garden.
“I can walk on it,” Pierce said. “It’s just a basic mid-foot sprain. It’s not the end of the world. I’ve had worse injuries, to tell you the truth. And the good thing about it is I didn’t have to go into a boot. I’m still walking around on it. It’s just about the pain going away. It’s a sprain but it’s not the worst sprain I’ve ever had.”
Pierce said he definitely plans on taking part in the All-Star 3-point shooting contest and is hopeful for the All-Star Game itself on Feb. 14 at Cowboys Stadium.
[Click here to hear a humble Pierce explain why he's planning on going ahead with the All-Star 3-point contest.]
“The foot is getting better every day,” Pierce added. “I’m just doing the necessary treatments to get back on the court as soon as possible. Going by how it feels. The good thing about it over the last couple of days it’s gotten better every day so I’m just taking it a day at a time until I know it’s right.
“It’s tough but I know at this point in my career and understanding my body, I know the most important thing for me right now is just to get healthy. As a younger player I might have pushed it too much and who knows if I might have made the injury even worse. Right now at this age I have to take care of my body and do what’s right and right now the right thing is to get rest.” Read the rest of this entry »