Originally written December 23, 2011 on Fox Sports:
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Celtics guard Paul Pierce didn't practice because of a nagging heel injury and might not play in Boston's season opener against the Knicks in New York on Christmas Day. Pierce did shoot around after Friday's practice, but coach Doc Rivers said ''I still think it's doubtful'' he'll play Sunday, when the Celtics and Knicks are playing one of the NBA's five season openers. If Pierce is unable to go, Rivers said Sasha Pavlovic would likely start in his place, as he did in the preseason finale Wednesday night against the Raptors. Rivers expects to know more Saturday, but said he won't let Pierce's desire to play override any concerns from the medical staff, especially this season when the condensed 66-game schedule will take a physical toll on players.
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