Paul Pierce's injury from Monday's win over the Wizards turns out to be a mid-foot strain, which is not nearly as serious as people in panic-stricken Celtic Nation initially feared.
Pierce is listed as day-to-day and very likley will be available for the all-star game in Dallas on Feb. 14. But if the foot is giving him trouble, it is possible he would sit out to rest it. He is far more important to the Celtics after all-star weekend for him to play through any discomfort, though some players have gone to the event and just made it clear to the coach -- in this case Stan Van Gundy -- to give him just a cameo appearance in the game and spend the rest of it on the bench.
But let's not paint David Lee as if he's a buzzard perched on a limb waiting for an injury to provide him a backdoor into the Big Show. Actually, considering the fact that the Knicks remain in a tailspin and the Cleveland Cavaliers -- with a .780 winning percentage -- are currently only sending one representative to the all-star game, there are no guarantees that Lee would be David Stern's first choice.
Shaquille O'Neal may have said Lee deserved the call from the start, but the NBA has got to want one of it's biggest stars at what expects to be it's biggest all-star weekend in history. And if not Shaq, Andrew Bogut has put up strong numbers for a Milwaukee Bucks team that is creeping toward .500 (21-26), jumped over the Knicks in the standings and is within range (2.5 games) of the final playoff berth in the East.
Plus, we all know how much the NBA loves to involve international players.
Speaking of which, the contenstants for the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout (can we say "Shootout" in the NBA these days?) will be announced today and it seems a given that Danilo Gallinari will be in the mix. Gallo recently predicted he'd win it, too.
Makes one recall when Larry Bird arrived and announced to the rest of the field, "All right, who's playing for second place?"
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* - Programming note: We'll have a LIVE CHAT here at 11 a.m. See you then, Fixers.