Celtics

Pierce to take on more point-forward role without Rondo

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Pierce to take on more point-forward role without Rondo

BOSTON Paul Pierce takes pride in being able to give the Boston Celtics whatever they need.

That mentality takes on even greater significance now that Rajon Rondo is out for the season with a torn right ACL injury.

Rondo's injury means the Celtics will look to Pierce to play more of a point-forward role which is essentially what he did in Boston's 100-98 double overtime win against Miami on Sunday.

Pierce finished with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists which was his first triple-double of the season.

"Responsibilities definitely go up when you have Rondo out the game," Pierce said. "More of a facilitator. Have to do a little bit of everything for this ball club. That's about it."

It is a role that Pierce has taken on at times in the past, one that might be easier for him to excel at based on the Celtics' personnel.

The need for Pierce to handle the ball more is necessary because the C's perimeter players are primarily scorers more than they are ball-handlers.

Pierce might benefit from handling the ball more, as it would likely take some of the pressure off him to score more points.

The Captain has been in a bit of a shooting funk lately, connecting on six of his 16 shots from the field against the Heat. In the five previous games leading up to Sunday's match with Miami, Pierce was shooting 32.9 percent (23-for-70) from the field.

"You know my shot, it's going to fall," Pierce said. "It's not something that I'm worried about."

For now, Pierce is focused on doing whatever he can to help the Celtics build off of what has to be their biggest win of the season. And with Rondo out, that's going to require him to do more - a lot more - than he has thus far this season.

"I still have a lot of intangibles," Pierce said. "The know-how; I know how to play this game."

Gordon Hayward will have surgery on ankle Wednesday night

Gordon Hayward will have surgery on ankle Wednesday night

BOSTON – Gordon Hayward will have surgery on his left ankle tonight, according to a league source.

Hayward, who suffered a left ankle injury in the first quarter of Boston’s 102-99 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday night, was considering having the surgery in Boston or back in Indiana by a doctor who had operated on him when he played at Butler.

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It’s too soon to determine a timetable for Hayward’s return, although the Celtics anticipate he will most if not all of the remainder of this season.

Hayward’s injury delivers a major blow to a Celtics team that were considered a top-two team in the East by most.

With Hayward out for an extended period of time, teams like Washington and Toronto are likely to get more serious consideration as another strong threat to Cleveland which has advanced to the NBA Finals each of the last three seasons.

Replacing Hayward in the Celtics starting lineup was Marcus Smart who joined Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford.

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Celtics expecting 'full recovery' for Hayward, but have no timetable

Celtics expecting 'full recovery' for Hayward, but have no timetable

BOSTON – After going through a series of tests earlier today, the results confirmed what the Celtics’ medical officials had determined earlier which is Hayward has a dislocated left ankle and a fractured tibia.

Gordon Hayward will have surgery on his left ankle tonight, according to a league source.

“We’re expecting this to be a full recovery,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens who added, “No timeline on it but a full recovery.”

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Hayward suffered the injury in the first quarter of Boston’s 102-99 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-8 All-Star landed awkwardly on his ankle after a lob pass by Kyrie Irving was deflected by LeBron James.

Players from both teams were visibly affected by the gruesome injury that puts Hayward’s return this season very much up in the air.

“He’s down, obviously,” Stevens said of Hayward. “There’s a physical pain to it, but that’s also doubled by the emotional pain. He put a lot of effort into trying to start this, his career out well in Boston.”

Stevens said Marcus Smart will be inserted into the starting lineup, joining Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford.

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