Not having Pierce — on top of not having Jeff Green who is out for the season due to a heart condition — leaves the Celtics very short at the three. It means Sasha Pavlovic is going to get the start and have to play big, both defending Carmelo Anthony and providing some scoring, for the Celtics to have a real chance.
Even if Pierce plays, he likely only goes for 15 to 20 minutes, but they could use his scoring and the threat of it.
If Boston is going to win this game they will do it with defense. But they are still going to have to find enough scoring to keep up with the Knicks (even if the Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler is a little awkward still) and that will be harder without Pierce.
Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance
NEW YORK (AP)— The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.
Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.
NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.
Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverleyin his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.
Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).
Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.
LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim