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Pierce Unlikely, Pavlovic To Start

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As expected, Pierce is still unlikely to play on Christmas.

Green Street " Pavlovic Ready to Fill Starting Role for Injured Pierce

Friday after practice, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said team captain Paul Pierce is unlikely to play on Sunday’s opening day match-up against the Knicks. According to Rivers even if trainer Ed Lacerte clears him to play, Pierce will not be in the starting lineup and will only log about 15-20 minutes in the contest. Rivers said the void left by Pierce’s nagging right-heel injury will be filled, most likely, by ninth-year veteran, Sasha Pavlovic.

The thinking with starting Sasha is to keep Marquis Daniels with the 2nd unit.

Rivers left the possibility of starting Marquis Daniels open, but felt the second unit needed to gain continuity going into the season. "I'd love to keep the second unit in tact," Rivers said. "[The second unit] really feel each other, and I think Marquis really helps."

This is a tactic Rivers seems fond of. Some will remember when Doc had Scalabrine starting in place of Kevin Garnett a couple years back.

In related news, Devin Ebanks and Josh McRoberts will start for the LA Lakers on Sunday. So we're not the only ones.