Those who watched Paul Pierce score a season-low five points on Sunday in Denver probably assumed something was wrong with the C’s captain.
They were right.
Pierce, who was just 2-for-10 from the floor and 1-for-4 from the free throw line, admitted that his injured thumb was problematic in Boston’s 114-105 loss to the Nuggets.
“There’s some pain when I catch the ball, and it’s really affecting my shot,” he told ESPN.com. “That’s the reason I’m not as aggressive.”
Pierce sprained his thumb in Thursday’s win over the Lakers, where he dropped 11 points. In Friday’s win over Portland, Pierce, who is averaging just under 18 points per game this season, scored just nine.
“You go by feel,” Pierce said. “I tried to play off instincts, and my instincts are to shoot the ball. But it’s not the same shot.”
The thumb is just the latest injury on Pierce’s long list of bumps and bruises. Head coach Doc Rivers has some decisions to make as to how to use his captain leading into the playoffs. Boston has a couple of tough games coming up as they host the new-look Knicks on Tuesday and the Cavaliers on Thursday.
“The thumb, the knee and the foot, it may have caught up to him right now,” Rivers said. “We may have to look at getting him some rest. On the surface, that’s the way it looks like it’s going.”
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