Doc Rivers doesn’t expect Paul Pierce to play on Christmas


We’re a long way away from the Chicken Little “the sky is falling” predictions about the Celtics season coming true, but this isn’t a good start.

Paul Pierce didn’t practice on Friday and Doc Rivers sounded less than optimistic he would be able to go in the Celtics season opener Sunday against the Knicks, reports Jessica Camerato at

Pierce did light shooting after practice and Rivers noted he has been working out more. If he were able to suit up, Rivers would limit his minute off the bench.

“Paul may wake up and say, ‘Coach, I want to go,’ ” Rivers said. “I can tell you this, it’s very unlikely he’ll start if he plays. I don’t think that’ll happen. So if he does play, he’ll play 15, 20 minutes, but right now I don’t see him playing.”

Jeff Green was to be Paul Pierce’s backup, but he is out for the season, too. That means Sasha Pavlovic will likely start and Marquis Daniels will be the first guy off the bench.

Which is bad news against the firepower the Knicks bring to the table. With Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire New York is going to put up points, even against a good Celtics defense. The Celtics should be able to put up points of their own against what should be an improved but not rock solid Knicks defense. But being without Pierce and his shot creating skills tilts the scales toward the Knicks.