Celtics

To stay fresh, Celtics may limit Pierce's minutes

788114.jpg

To stay fresh, Celtics may limit Pierce's minutes

WALTHAM Paul Pierce is looking a bit slimmer these days.

If Doc Rivers has his way, the same might be true for Pierce's minutes this season.

Having Pierce at the top of his game when the playoffs roll around is a priority for Boston, which is why Rivers is seriously considering putting similar limitations on Pierce's playing time that he has done with Kevin Garnett.

"Paul is a guy I've never really worried about with minutes," Rivers said. "But I'm going to watch his minutes."

Heading into his 15th NBA season, Pierce has averaged 36.9 minutes played per game and has not averaged less than 34 in any single season.

That's a considerable amount of wear and tear over time, which is why Rivers has to give serious thought to going with the 5-5-5 plan for Pierce which would limit him to playing in five-minute bursts.

While it would certainly require some adjusting on Pierce's part, he's all for it.

"Doc, he's the coach around here," Pierce said. "I trust his judgement in everything that he does. We've been together a long time. Whatever is going to be best for the team, that's what it's gonna be."

But Pierce is one of the NBA's best at scoring in bunches, which might at times make the 5-5-5 rule difficult to implement.

"With me and Doc, we'll figure things out," Pierce said. "But if I'm on fire the first five minutes, I can't come out. It's simple and plain."

A hot-shooting Pierce.

Rivers has no issues with riding him and ditching the 5-5-5 plan for a game every now and then.

"I'm all for it," Rivers said. "Paul is a gym rat. Obviously if we can keep Rondo's minutes down, we will. And Paul's minutes down. It doesn't mean we will. But I'm saying, it would be nice."

Having a healthy Pierce at the start of training camp is a treat as well.

Pierce suffered a heel injury shortly before the start of training camp last season. It limited him early in the season and it wasn't until around the all-star break did he start playing like the dominant wing player that has been named to the all-star team 10 times.

"It's definitely an advantage to come out here and be already in shape," Pierce said. "Injuries hampered me coming into training camp. I can get off to a better start, hopefully. It's important that we stay healthy. It's important that we get off to a good start."

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

Just when all the video tribute controversy between Isaiah Thomas and Paul Pierce seemed to be dying down, Jalen Rose heated it right back up.

Live on ESPN's "NBA Countdown," Rose called Pierce "petty" for his comments on the Celtics potentially holding a video tribute for Isaiah on Feb. 11 when Pierce gets his jersey retired.

Jalen Rose called Paul Pierce petty right to his face... 😳

A post shared by DIME on UPROXX (@dimemagazine) on

Thomas tweeted on Tuesday that he (again) declined the Celtics' offer to hold the tribute for him so it wouldn't interfere with Pierce's night. But if you look at the likes on the Instagram video above, posted by dimemagazine, you'll see Thomas appears to agree with Rose on the matter.

It doesn't look like the video tribute drama is going to end until the Feb. 11 matchup between the Celtics and Cavaliers is over with.

Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

clippers_rockets.jpg

Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

WALTHAM, Mass. – Three Houston Rockets players entered the Los Angeles Clippers’ training room before being stopped by security but not before a profanity-laced exchange that’s sure to result in fines and possibly some suspensions.

Orlando’s Arron Afflalo threw a punch – and barely missed – hitting Minnesota’s Nemanja Bjelica which led to both players being ejected and for Afflalo will likely result in a suspension of some kind.

Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons got into it with Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, resulting in both players being tossed and apparently leading to Simmons signaling to Lowry that they could continue having their “discussion” in the hallway.

That hallway encounter never happened (Lowry said he was there, Simmons said he didn’t see Lowry so you believe who you want to), but the fact that it was even a possibility speaks to this being one of the more bizarre weeks in recent memory when it comes to potential fighting in the league. 

And remember … it’s only freakin’ Wednesday!

I asked Boston’s Al Horford about this.

“It’s very, very bizarre,” said Horford, now in his 11th NBA season. “I don’t think I remember any period of time, (with) all this chippiness going on. You want to compete, you want to play hard; that’s fine. But all the extra stuff, I think needs to stop. At the end of the day you need to focus on basketball. We’re here to play.”

Horford added, “I’m sure the NBA will address those things and fix them.”

No one was shocked that things got a little testy in the Houston-Los Angeles Clippers game which was played on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It was the first time Chris Paul, now with the Rockets, returned to Los Angeles to face his former team. 

The Clippers won 113-102, a game filled with trash talk from both sides. But apparently the chatter soon turned to chippy play with hard fouls delivered and taken in the latter stages of play with a total of five technical fouls called, two of which were on Blake Griffin which is an automatic ejection. 

Talking trash gone bad was a factor in the Simmons-Lowry bruhaha with the Sixers emerging with the victory. 

And on Tuesday, Afflalo and Bjelica had already been assessed a technical for an earlier run-in. Soon after, there was a collision between the two which pissed off Afflalo who swung with great force at Bjelica’s face. 

“We’re professionals,” Horford said. “We can’t get caught up in that stuff.”

Horford plays around the basket and is no stranger to banging around with the big, bad angry bodies. 

But as much as there will be times when he’ll want to snap, Horford has consistently resisted the urge. 

“It’s hard; it’s hard,” he said. “But we have to remember what we play the game for; I play to win. I’m playing for my teammates and sometimes you need to take a step back before you do something you regret. That’s the way I look at it.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE