Paul Pierce has kept his discomfort under wraps. The Boston Celtics captain said Wednesday night he has been playing this season with a pinched nerve in his neck. Pierce has been battling through pain and stepping up while three teammates went down for the season. "It's something that's been bothering me probably like the last two months," Pierce said after the Celtics 71-69 win over the Chicago Bulls. "It's getting better, though. The last couple of weeks, it's been better than it has been." The Celtics are pushing forward without the injured Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger, and Leandro Barbosa. Since Rondo suffered an ACL injury on January 25, Pierce has posted two triple-doubles and three double-doubles, bringing his season average up to 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. He struggled offensively on Wednesday, though, shooting 2-for-12 from the field (2-5 3PG). He posted 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists in 34 minutes. When asked if Pierce had 'no legs' in the game, head coach Doc Rivers replied, "I don't think anyone did, I'm serious, on both teams. We're talking about our legs -- we won and scored 71 points. I just thought it was one of those games. As we all know, the last game before All-Star is a strange game." Pierce is looking forward to the break before the Celtics head out on a west coast road trip next week. Once the C's do return to work, he hopes there will be more players available to help spell minutes. “I think it’s going to be necessary just for us to even have practice, probably have to add a guard, maybe another big man," he said. "We had walkthrough today and we had (former NBA guard) Tyronn Lue, one of our assistant coaches, out there participating in it. Most likely I think it’s going to be necessary just to have some depth – maybe give me, Kevin (Garnett), Jason (Terry) some rest, especially during practices. Hopefully maybe they can contribute in a game."
Pierce playing with pinched nerve
NBC Sports Boston | Feb 14