Nobody was more puzzled about Pierce's "minutes-restriction" going out the window than I.Â However, there appears to be a reasonable explaination.Â Doctor's (not Doc's) orders:
He came into last nightâ€™s game against the Timberwolves with a recovering left foot (stress reaction) and left elbow (infection that required minor surgery and stitches Tuesday), and in the third quarter he suffered a strained left hip when Marko Jaric fouled him on a drive to the hoop.
Trainer Ed Lacerte told coach Doc Rivers heâ€™d better start Pierce in the fourth because leaving him on the pine might leave him too tight to return later. So the captain went the entire final period, going 31:44 for the game (well past his 20-minute limitation), and finished with 29 points. After going a rusty 4-for-16 in his first game back Friday, Pierce made 9-of-16 shots from the floor (3-of-5 treys).
â€œItâ€™s just a little small strain in my left hip,â€ he said. â€œI might take a couple of days off, but it should be fine. Iâ€™ll be good for Wednesday. It just feels like the second day of training camp, but Iâ€™ll be all right. I didnâ€™t pull it to the point where I canâ€™t play on Wednesday.