Bitter Lakers fans still bring up The Wheelchair. It is funny really. Even after two titles they are still bitter that we took the first one away from them. But that's just who Paul Pierce is - he fights through injuries and manages to play very well. Not terribly unlike the Lakers own Kobe Bryant.
Last night was no exception. The Hawks fans must have been wondering if Pierce was playing possum with them or something because he couldn't be stopped, bad wheel and all.
Celtics forward Paul Pierce said he twisted his left knee during shootaround Sunday morning and aggravated it in the second quarter of Game 4 vs. the Hawks. "I kind of tripped over somebody's foot and turned the knee," said Pierce. "It's a little bit sore right now, so we're just going to take precautions tonight."
Doc Rivers said that he wasn't even sure if Pierce would be able to play last night, but play he did, and play well he did. (That last sentence is brought to you by Yoda) Turns out one of the keys to his success was a small tweak to the gameplan.
"It was great," Rivers said. "And you know I thought, Paul thought, in the last game he took it too deep, and so tonight he went to the in-between game over and over again early on. First play we got him a layup and then he got a lot of in-between jump shots, which I think he may be one of the best in-between players in the league. And he did that. He knew that they were trapping; he knew that they were coming at him. And we talked, ‘If you go quick, one, two, dribble, pull-up jump shot, you know, take it.’ And he did that. And then he got the three going. He was just on fire."
Hopefully Pierce can get some good rest on that bad knee. Though it is comforting know that he can still play like The Truth even when not at 100%.
In related news, Doc and the training staff had their hands full with (apparently) minor injuries. Though I doubt that we'll get any pity from Hawks fans (never mind Bulls fans).
“We had a lot of stuff going on,’’ coach Doc Rivers said. “You may not have noticed, or noticed - but we had a lot of things going on on our bench with bodies. You know, [Pietrus], we had to take him out. Avery’s shoulder, Paul’s knee, Ray’s foot. The whole game you just felt like - I mean, you just kept looking down there. Was there enough guys to put in the game, at one point. So I was really happy that everybody kept their focus through all the stuff that [trainer] Ed Lacerte had to do on the bench.’’
Get some rest guys. And then finish the Hawks off soon so there's a chance there can be more rest before the start of the next round.