A Tuesday game against the New York Knicks presented the prime opportunity for Paul Pierce to get some much needed rest. Plus, if there was ever a sign that a player should stay on the sidelines for a regular season game, Pierce’s immune system gave it; he actually stayed home from the game entirely due to a flu bug, though Doc Rivers insists the plan was for him to sit all along.
The Celtics don’t yet appear ready to sit Pierce for a significant stretch, though Rivers does acknowledge the possibility. That said, does anyone really expect Paul to sit out a TNT game against the Cavaliers on Thursday night?
A more likely period for rest would come after Thursday, in which the Celtics will go 12 days without playing a single opponent with a record over .500. The fiercest of the bunch would be the Charlotte Bobcats and the Milwaukee Bucks, and while those teams are certainly capable of handing Boston a loss (especially the former), the Celtics won’t have a better opportunity to give Pierce significant rest with little in terms of win-loss tradeoff.