WALTHAM It goes without saying that not having Paul Pierce (right heel) in the lineup impacts the Boston Celtics' offense in a negative way.
Nowhere is his absence more noticeable than in the C's lack of 3-point attempts. While the two-game preseason schedule is a small sample, it's a stat that's hard to ignore.
After taking nearly 14 a game last season, the C's launched just seven in each of their preseason games against the Raptors. Celtics coach Doc Rivers isn't surprised to see that number significantly trimmed with Pierce not playing in either game.
"When you have Paul and Ray (Allen), the floor is spread," Rivers said. "And the spacing is different. When you have Marquis (Daniels) and Sasha (Pavlovic) and Avery (Bradley), those guys are more slashers. So it's a function of that."
He's right. But don't be surprised to see the C's jack fewer 3s even when Pierce does return.
When you look at this Celtics lineup, it's clear that the bulk of the scoring from the bench is going to most likely come from their frontcourt which will be led by Chris Wilcox and Brandon Bass.
Wilcox has a nice touch around the basket, evident by him shooting 57.1 percent from the field in the two preseason games.
Bass had a strong preseason as well, finishing as the team's second-leading scorer in the preseason (10.5 points per game), while also shooting 57.1 percent from the field.
"Brandon has to be a big part of our offense," said Celtics guard Keyon Dooling. "He'll be our best scorer off the bench. Marquis can give us a lot of different things, not just in the scoring category, but just having the ball in his hands is pretty good. On any given night I can get hot, or any given night Chris' energy can show up in the rebound and point column. So it might come from a lot of different places, but we've got to be prepared either way."