PHILADELPHIA — Paul Pierce tapped the black brace on his left knee, playing coy in response to a question about how the contraption takes pressure off his strained medial collateral ligament.
"What brace are you talking about?" Pierce said.
Pierce has not worn the brace during a game, but he wore it to the Celtics' shootaround Friday morning as a precaution. Pierce first injured his knee in a shootaround, so he is cautious no matter how low-impact the workout may be.
Yet Pierce has maintained that his knee injury is minor, regularly shrugging off questions about his health by noting simply that he is healthy enough to play. He said he feels comfortable with the pace of the playoff schedule, which has included no back-to-backs but has not given the Celtics consecutive days off in two weeks.
"I think it's great for us," Pierce said. "We haven't played particularly well in back-to-back situations. The two back-to-back games we came here, we got blown out. I think it works to our benefit. Not having back-to-backs and not having any long layoffs, I don't know how good we are when we have three or four days off, either. I kind of like that we have a day. It keeps us in a good rhythm."
The Celtics get their first two-day break of the series following Game 4 before returning to the TD Garden floor on Monday.