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Paul Pierce is playing with a pinched nerve in his neck

Feb 14, 2013, 11:53 AM EDT

Boston Celtics forwards Pierce and Bass react after a Celtics basket in the final minutes of their NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls in Boston Reuters

Paul Pierce has been playing in pain all season.

If you saw the slight downtick in his scoring numbers — scoring 18.5 points a game, one less than last year, shooting 41.5 percent, down from 44.3 percent — you could easily attribute that to age for the 35-year-old who still carries a heavy scoring load for Boston.

But it’s more than that, he’s been playing with a pinched nerve in his neck all season, he told Jessica Camerato of

“It’s something that’s been bothering me probably like the last two months,” Pierce said after the Celtics 71-69 win over the Chicago Bulls. “It’s getting better, though. The last couple of weeks, it’s been better than it has been.”

Note to Dwight Howard: This is how you handle things. Don’t complain to the media, don’t make excuses, play as hard as you can through everything and let the chips fall where they fall. If you put out the effort, fans are amazingly forgiving.

And Pierce puts out the effort. He has had to take on a larger playmaking and scoring role since Rajon Rondo went down, and he didn’t blink. In fact, the Celtics have won seven of eight.

He will have to put out a lot more effort in the stretch run of the regular season and the playoffs if Boston is going to make any kind of run. You know he will give it his all.

  1. andyhr17 - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    If a pinched nerve means triple doubles like he’s put up recently, keep that thing pinched!

  2. dacapt704 - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    They don’t make many like Paul Pierce..

  3. alildusty - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    this kind of makes sense as he’s been on a HORRID shooting slump over the last month+

  4. emosnar - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Time for the greatest Celtic to every don the jersey to pack it up. Just think a couple more titles he would have been better than Kobe.

    • scalfor3 - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      The greatest Celtic ever is Larry Bird. The second greatest is Bill Russell. C’mon, man, it starts with those two. I love the Truth, but I know this.

      • andyhr17 - Feb 14, 2013 at 7:30 PM

        I would put Russell 1, Bird 2 but your point stands. Pierce will never be in same sentence as those two. A Celtic great, but their are levels of greatness.

  5. GT - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    I’m a Bird era fan, but the Truth is making me rethink the top part of my all time list, greatest Celtic scorer ever and just as cold blooded as Bird from 3.

  6. lmoneyfresh - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Get the wheelchair ready.

  7. bigwii - Feb 14, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    In my family my grandparents watched Russell, my parents and aunts and uncles watched Bird, and I grew up watching Pierce so I have a bias even though its hard to argue either. In my opinion though the Celtics didn’t out that much talent around Pierce (shout out to Danny Ainge) in his career to get him a chance at more rings like Bird and Russell. I think the Truth is behind those 2 because of the lack of rings which is the Celtic Way.

  8. rawchangers - Jan 24, 2014 at 1:24 AM

    That is very brave of him. A pinched nerve is usually very painful, I wounder how he was able to play on without treating it first and having some time to rest.

    All the same I wish him all the best.

    pinched cervical nerve

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