CHARLOTTE – Paul Pierce jokingly tried to play his 1 for 9 night off as completely intentional.
“I’m one of the great decoys in this game,” Pierce said.
But for the past week, Pierce has been fighting off flu-like symptoms and his game has been suffering because of it. In the past team’s past four games, Pierce is 12 of 38 (31.6 percent), and he hasn’t made a 3-pointer since Dec. 1, missing his last 16 straight.
But he hasn’t missed a game all year, and he’s averaged 35.1 minutes this month,
“He’s not feeling good and he’s just giving us minutes right now,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
Pierce went to Rivers to let him know that he was feeling fatigued.
“I told Doc I’m really tired,” he said. “My body is a little weak. Just trying to keep fluids in me and get over it. Hopfully the next couple of days, being at home, will cure it.”
The Celtics have the next three days off before playing the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, and Pierce plans to get the most out of them.
“These next three days are going to be great for me,” Pierce said. “It gives me a chance to recover from some sicknesses, just get some energy back. I’ve been kind of weak over the last few days and this is time needed for a lot of guys on this team.”