A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Paul Pierce, who had 17 points, suffered what team officials are describing as a bruised right thigh injury. That diagnosis came shortly after coach Doc Rivers had initially believed Pierce suffered a knee injury. ‘Stuff that happens throughout the course of a game, bang knees, turn ankle,’ Pierce said. Knee. Thigh. It doesn’t matter. Pierce’s status is up in the air heading into Friday’s game at Phoenix. ‘Hopefully it doesn’t swell up too much,’ Pierce said. ‘It swelled up a little bit, but not too bad. Hopefully it’ll be all right for [Friday].’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “As he works his way back into the Celtics [team stats] lineup, planning to return tonight in Phoenix against the Suns, Shaq is taking full advantage of modern chemistry — at least the stuff allowed under NBA guidelines. He went heavy with the anti-inflammatory drugs to get through a shin and calf injury from a collision with Amare Stoudemire, though he had to slow down when he had an adverse internal reaction. And he recently took a shot of Synvisc, an arthritis medication, to help him with his troublesome right hip and general maintenance. ‘I got one in training camp, and I figured it was time to get another one,’ said O’Neal before last night’s 88-78 victory against the Trail Blazers. ‘It helps me get some lube in my hip.’”
Paul Flannery, WEEI – “Since coming to the Celtics, Garnett has had to do less than his Minnesota days and his numbers have dipped across the board, but he has always been a willing passer. He flashed his skills in a stunning minute-and-a-half stretch in the third quarter when he assisted on four straight baskets. Twice he hit Ray Allen for open 3’s and he also hit Perkins for a dunk and Allen for a layup. Ironically, one of his greatest strengths has always been looked at as a weakness. Garnett was always so willing to make the pass – to make the right play – that some people questioned whether he wanted the responsibility of taking the shot himself. True to his nature, Garnett wouldn’t change for his critics. This, he believed, was the correct way to play the game and this was what he would do. Everyone else, frankly, could go to Hades and leave him alone. As much as Garnett has given Boston in his three and a half seasons here, we shouldn’t forget that we never got to see him truly at his best. For 90 seconds Thursday night, he gave us a glimpse.”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “But in typical KG fashion, his impressive night statistically didn’t mean much. He was reminded that LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds, had a double-double in the first half. Garnett then reminded a reporter that Aldridge’s big game also came with an ‘L.’ ’I'm more into letters, than numbers,’ Garnett said. ‘All right?’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “The Celtics have the best record in the Eastern Conference, but they were runners-up all the way around in the final fan balloting for the NBA All-Star Game starters. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce finished third and fourth at forward behind LeBron James and Amare Stoudemire; Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen were third and fourth at guard behind Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose; and Shaquille O’Neal came in second at center behind Dwight Howard. ‘To look at our record and to have no starters is surprising,’ Doc Rivers said before last night’s win against the Blazers. ‘But not really, because we’re such a team. We’re not a team where individuals will stand out, but I think because of the record they should stand out. Hopefully all four (Pierce, Garnett, Rondo and Allen) are on (as reserves). I think they should be, and we’ll see.’”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “Rivers never harbored any concerns about minutes, roles, or egos. He left that to the fans. He hopes the second half of the season brings more normalcy regarding injuries, but the depth certainly helped make the first half a successful one. ‘I would prefer to have them all,’ Rivers said. ‘Then we could rest guys and we could do a lot of other things. Right now it’s working out that we have enough bigs. But I’m looking forward to the day where [having too many] becomes a problem. That would be great.’”
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