BOSTON -- After leading the Celtics to a pair of victories against potential playoff teams, captain Paul Pierce looks more and more like the player he's been for 13 NBA seasons in Boston -- before a heel injury that forced him to miss most of training camp and play his way back into shape during the first quarter of the lockout-shortened season.
"I still have a little soreness after the game, but I'm pretty close [to 100 percent]," said Pierce, who totaled 28 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in Friday night's 94-87 win over the Pacers. "I'm probably at about 83.7 percent."
Including Thursday night's 27-point comeback against the Magic in Orlando, Pierce amassed 52 points, 18 assists and 16 rebounds in less than 30 hours -- his best two-game stretch of the Celtics season.
"I'm getting there," added Pierce. "I'm really getting used to the soreness of playing. I'm getting used to the back-to-backs. ... A few weeks ago, I probably wouldn't have been able to play in this game -- in the fourth game in five nights -- because of how my body was feeling after these games, but I'm really getting used to the conditioning for these games where it's not really affecting me. And Doc [Rivers] is doing a great job of giving us rest in these types of situations."
It's no coincidence Pierce's progress has coincided with the Celtics' four-game winning streak -- even without the ailing Ray Allen (ankle), Rajon Rondo (wrist) and Jermaine O'Neal (knee). Friday night's victory lifted the Celtics (9-9) to .500 for the first time since early January, and Pierce's play has been perhaps the biggest factor in that stretch.
"We finally got to sea level, so now we're trying to get our heads above water," said Pierce. "We're in a good groove right now. It starts on the defensive end regardless of how we play offensively, and I think we're getting comfortable with what we're doing."
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In the latest edition of the "It Is What It Is" podcast, Chris Price and CSNNE's Mike Giardi take a look at the Patriots offseason on both sides of the ball, try and get a handle on which new guys will make an impact first, and whether or not the Patriots have altered their style when it comes to drafting and developing wide receivers.
Mike Florio joined the program to discuss the Jets decision to release Tim Tebow, he said the situation is as disaster all around for the Jets and that the problems begins with owner Woody Johnson. Mike also said that he was disappointed with the Pats moving back in the first round.
One of the hardest working men in the biz, Mike Petraglia aka "Trags", sits down with Butch Stearns live in Foxborough to help break down all the latest Pats moves. He discusses his reaction to the trade in Round 1 and the guys those picks produced. Also, the boys talk about the decent trade the Pats made in acquiring LeGarrette Blount from Tampa Bay for Jeff Demps and a 7th rounder.
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
Jackie Mac joins the show to discuss the trade rumors swirling around Paul Pierce, KG, Doc Rivers and the Celtics. She also discusses the future of the Celtics head coach.
Stephen A. joined the program to discuss the trade rumors he has reported regarding a possible trade including Doc Rivers and the Clippers. Stephen A. also told the guys that he has heard that Danny and Doc may be tiring of working together.
Joe Castiglione talked to John Farrell before the second game against the Twins. The manager said that the Sox can win with small-ball or with big-ball.
Will Middlebrooks hit a 3-run double in the top of the 9th inning to power the Red Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Rays tonight. He joined Joe & Dave after the final call live from the dugout.
Larry joined the program to discuss the teams recent struggles and informed the guys that it is still early in the season. Larry also said that he still has faith that Daniel bard can turn things around.
Bruins rookie defenseman Matt Bartkowski has emerged as one of the young stars of the team and he joins Mut and Tom Caron to discuss his role on the team, why he's confident, and the trade that almost sent him to Calgary.
Andy Brickley joins the show to discuss the Bruins Game 1 win over the Rangers, the play of the three young Bruins defensemen, and the fatigue Jagr has shown on the ice.
Pierre McGuire joins Tom Caron and Mut to discuss the Bruins young defensemen, the intensity and energy level in the game, and the Rangers offense.
Shawn joined the program to discuss another overtime win for the Bruins. When asked about Game 7 against Toronto, Thornton said that he would like to keep his specific comments in the dressing room private, but acknowledged that he encouraged Tyler Seguin to up his play and it paid off in overtime.
Barry joined the guys to help breakdown the Bruins overtime win last night in game one. Barry said that he has rarely seen a team dominate as much as the Bruins yet be forced to an overtime.
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.
Millar joins the show to discuss the recent Sox slide, Jacoby Ellsbury's lack of power, and hitting in the big leagues.
We talk all things game one with Jack Edwards of NESN, and get to hear a little from Jack's Finnish protege as well.
We tackle four topics we haven't yet touched upon today.. Joe Thornton and disappointing former Boston athletes, parking in Boston, buying jersey numbers and more...
We talk about the report that Rob Gronkowski may now be a candidate for back surgery with a disc problem. Is Gronk just an injury prone guy? Or is he not rehabbing proberly? Can the Pats build an offense around a guy who is so inconsistently on the field? We discuss.
The Bruins have almost finished raking the Leafs, the Red Sox struggle from the mound, Miami Heat fans show their level of class.
Daily Planet Wednesday May 8th
Today on the Daily Planet the Bruins take a 2-1 series lead, the Red Sox get a run-off win, and we hear about cannibals and bible thieves.
Sounds like a prostate exam to me!
Damn New Yorkers!
Sauce Man stylings!
Buster Olney joins the show to discuss the muddled AL East, the average play of Ellsbury and how that will affect him in free agency, and Tropicana Field.More from this show
Linda explains how the shootout transpired in Watertown during the early morning hours. She saw the first suspect mortally wounded and police beginning the manhunt for the second suspect.More from this show
Jeff Bauman, a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing, joined the show to give the guys an update of his condition and a first-hand account of that terrible day. Jeff told the guys how he wrote the description of the bomber as soon as he could. Mr. Bauman added that he is aided every day with the knowledge that he is alive and the terrorist that detonated the bomb is dead.More from this show