NEW YORK — Ever the optimist, yet understanding that this experiment has a oncoming expiration date, Paul Pierce Monday said he is convinced the Brooklyn Nets can compete for an NBA championship and is pushing himself to return as soon as his right hand can withstand the pounding.
Pierce, the former Celtic, has been out since Nov. 29 with a fractured bone in his right hand. He was expected to miss up to a month, but he could return Tuesday night when the Nets host the Celtics in what would be Pierce’s first regular-season meeting against his former team.
He tried to downplay that matchup, more interested in pulling his current team up from what has been a disastrous, injury-filled 6-14 start. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.