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article imageOp-Ed: NBA: Paul Pierce practices for Celtics, Ray Allen doesn't

article:323811:4::0
By Layne Weiss     Apr 27, 2012 in Sports
Waltham - NBA.com is reporting that Paul Pierce was at practice for the Boston Celtics Friday after leaving the regular season finale against the Bucks with a sprained knee.
Pierce said the sprain was minor, and that he doesn't expect it to bother him Sunday when the Boston Celtics take on the Atlanta Hawks in game one of the 1st round of the NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs.
NBA.com reports that Pierce left Thursday season finale against the Bucks early in the first quarter, and though, the Celtics believed he would not return, he was back on the court late in the second quarter.
Another member of the big 3, Ray Allen, is questionable for Sunday. Allen has missed 2 weeks with a sore right angle, and Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he wasn't sure if Allen will be able to play Sunday.
"It's always frustrating when you're sitting out," Paul Pierce said. "Ray is one of the great competitors in the league, I'm sure it eats at him every single day he can't practice, and every single game he can't play."
Allen formed the Celtics "Big 3" in 2007 with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The trio led their team to the Celtics first NBA title since 1986 in the 2007-2008 season.
Pierce is 34, Garnett will be 36 next month, and Allen is 36.That's not old at all for real life, but for basketball life? Well, the days for the Celtics big 3 to win another NBA title are numbered, especially since, as ESPN reports Garnett will become a free agent this summer.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said some of his older players were growing impatient about winning another title.
"They've got one or two chances the rest of their career and they don't want to blow this," Rivers said, But the body is the final decider. The clock is ticking (on everyone).
According to ESPN, Rivers said Allen might practice Saturday and is "probable for Sunday," but he has no idea how Allen will play or react to being gone for so long.
"His rhythm is not going to be good, He hasn't played in 2 weeks," Rivers said. "He hasn't even run on the floor. If he's ready to play, we're going to play him. I'd like to see him on the floor. Rhythm or no rhythm, if I tell Ray to stand in the corner, someone's going to stand next to him. That creates spacing and that's good for us."
My prediction: The Hawks will win the series in 5. This will mark the official end of the big 3 era. Even if Garnett resigns, the Celtics aren't what they used to be. They have been plagued by age and injury.
I have never been a Celtics fan, but I can recognize that they used to be somewhat enjoyable to watch. The faster this series goes, the better.
It's almost refreshing to see this bit of uncertainty in the Celtics. Strange to see them as the underdog.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
article:323811:4::0
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