The Captain may be more ill than initially televised. In Boston’s last game versus the Philadelphia 76ers, it seemed like no one could hit the rim with any consistency, let alone score points. However, the fact that Paul Pierce had a poor shooting game from the field only makes us speculate his inconsistency.
Pierce is the best scorer on the Boston Celtics and arguably their best player. When the game is on the line, they go to Paul Pierce first more often than not because he can develop his own shot on a more consistent basis than the rest of the roster can. In game two of the Philadelphia series, Pierce looked slower than he usually does though. He wasn’t able to establish a rhythm and get the ball into the exact spots that he wanted it to be in. His lift was gone and his ability to explode through contact went with it.
In the Atlanta series, in game 5 to be exact, Pierce had sprained his MCL. Ever since he’s been day to day on the injury report but has played through the pain that he most certainly is going through right now. Pierce will be the first one to tell you that there is nothing wrong with
his knee, but you can tell from his play that he most certainly is aggravating it on the floor. At certain moments you can see him walking with a limp on the floor.
Your medial collateral ligament(MCL) is located on the inner part of your knee joint. There are three grades of a sprained MCL. Grade one is when you damage a few ligament fibers, grade two is when there is more extensive damage done to you knee fibers, and grade three is when you completely rupture your MCL. That can also lead to other ligaments in your knees tearing as well because of the force that it takes to tear one(See Adrian Peterson).
Pierce’s degree hasn’t been released to the public, but it surely isn’t a grade three. It has the potential to get worse, which hopefully it doesn’t, but Pierce must be careful on this knee.
Boston has lost home-court advantage in the series to Philadelphia. To get it back, Pierce must remain a key cog and be consistent with his offense. When he doesn’t score the Boston Celtics struggle to score as well. We saw examples of this in the series with the Atlanta Hawks as well. Boston managed to squeak by in that game, but they won’t be able to do that on a consistent basis.
These playoffs have been brutal on the players after such a rigorous regular season. We’ve seen three torn ACL’s in these playoffs alone, we’ve seen Chris Bosh strain his abdominal muscles, we’ve seen Pierce injure his knees just as Blake Griffin has also. Chris Paul even has a strained groin. The lockout season effects are now impacting the players more than they ever have. Hopefully this won’t dilute any of the playoff basketball we have left.
On the march to 16 wins, Boston has five. Without Pierce at full strength, I don’t think the C’s will be able to make it the rest of the way. Game three is in Philadelphia tonight at seven P.M EST.