Paul Pierce didn’t play yesterday, despite a mentality that led him to tell reporters, “If there was the slightest chance I could play, I’d definitely be out there.”
A bone bruise in Pierce’s heel continues to sideline the small forward, who was especially missed in the fourth quarter yesterday when Boston’s offense lacked any semblance of rhythm or identity (a problem that admittedly haunted Boston last season even with Pierce in the lineup). During that fourth quarter, Pierce’s normal backups were scorched by Carmelo Anthony for 17 points while Pierce sat on the bench looking dapper and svelte in a pinstriped suit. Boston had one last chance to tie or win, but — during a time usually marked by Pierce’s patented stepback jumper, especially in Madison Square Garden — Kevin Garnett missed an open jumper from the right wing and Boston fell to 0-1.
If you were hoping for an exact timetable from Pierce, there wasn’t any. There was no announcement of when he would return because, quite frankly, Pierce doesn’t know. He told reporters that if you Google “bone bruise,” you’ll find that it can take a few days to recover or a few months.
Pierce doesn’t expect the healing process to take months — “Right now, I’m day to day. That’s the reason I came on the [road] trip.” — but he still can’t run up and down the court.
“I have no problem with the cutting movements, shooting,” he said. “I haven’t tried to run up and down yet full-court. That’s where I set myself back the first week of training camp. I was going up and down the court, and I landed hard on it. I just want to be more cautious.”
Pierce said his recovery might be slightly hindered because his bone bruise is located in a bad spot.
“It’s been improving week by week. With regular bruises, it may be a couple of days. But when you’re dealing with a bone bruise on a place where I have to walk every day and apply pressure to it, maybe it slows down the healing process.”
I don’t want to leave you with all injury news, so on a better note: BRANDON BASS!!!!