Dec 25, 2011, 8:00 AM EDT
The Boston Celtics will tip off the NBA season with the New York Knicks at noon Chrstmas day, and they may also have the first major player to miss games due to injury for the season.
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.