Paul Pierce ran like every step sent a lightning bolt of pain down his leg. He always plays methodically, often with a pace that rivals a middle-aged man going for a midday jog. But yesterday he was clearly bothered by an injury he suffered during a Game 4 pregame shootaround.
Afterward, Pierce shrugged off the injury but admitted to playing a step slow. (Boston Herald)
“I don’t really think it bothered me too much,” said Pierce. “I didn’t really try to think about it. I probably was a little step slower, I didn’t have my usual lift that I usually do. But I don’t think it really affected me, too much. I mean, I’m not a high-riser anyway.”
I went to sleep last night thinking, “Damn it! Horford’s back and Pierce is injured and the Hawks finally started the right lineup (which took Avery Bradley out of the game) and damn it, Atlanta might have a chance.”
I woke up thinking, “Rondo played well for approximately 14 minutes, Kevin Garnett didn’t get enough touches, Ryan Hollins received entirely too much playing time and the Celtics reverted to miserable rebounding, yet they still had the ball on the final possession with a chance to close out the series, on the road.”
Somewhere in between lies what that game can tell us. The Hawks figured a few things out. The Celtics played in spurts. Game 6 might bring an entirely different story, or it could shadow much of what happened in Game 5. If Paul Pierce is healthy enough to make sharp cuts Thursday night, I like the Celtics’ chances. But no matter what he said about the injury last night, it definitely hindered his activity.