Thursday, December 22, 2011
Quick hits: Pierce gets up shots
By Chris Forsberg
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Quick hits after the Celtics practiced Thursday at HealthPoint:
* Pierce gets up shots; Status still uncertain for Sunday: Celtics captain Paul Pierce made a post-practice appearance on the floor, getting up some shots (and looking good) despite a bruised right heel that's kept him sidelined for much of training camp and is threatening his chances to play in Sunday's season-opener against the Knicks.
"We didn’t even ask him to [participate in practice]," said Rivers. "We won't ask him to do anything until Saturday, so we’ll see what he can do. Then if he can play, we may play him. If he can play, we’ll play him, but we won't press him -- we may not even start him. We don’t know anything on that until Saturday."
What does Rivers need to see on Saturday?
"If [team trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] says he can play, he can play," said Rivers. "He won’t know any plays, but I do know when he shoots the ball, they go in. So that’s good. Really, Paul knows what we do for the most part. And if Eddie gives him clearance, he’s giving him clearance because he thinks he can play."
* Rondo on Pierce-less team: 'It doesn't really change': Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo stressed that the team won't reinvent itself if Pierce isn't able to play on Christmas Day (and beyond). "It [means] more shots for Kevin [Garnett] and Ray [Allen]. It doesn’t really change," said Rondo. "Guys -- Sasha [Pavlovic], Marquis [Daniels], whoever fills in the role -- they know what it takes. They’ve been here in our system for a couple years now -- Sasha two [years], Marquis three. We know what it takes. Guys have been missing before and guys are ready to step up, and they’ll be ready."
* More roster cuts coming: Rivers said the team expected to make two more roster cuts Thursday night, which would trim the roster to 14 players, the number Rivers hinted Wednesday evening is the target to allow roster flexibility moving forward. With Greg Stiemsma spending additional time with Kevin Garnett and JaJuan Johnson after practice, it still appears that camp invites Michael Sweetney and Gilbert Brown are the most likely to be let go next. Jamal Sampson was released earlier in the day.