Paul Pierce says he has moved on completely from his 15 years with the Celtics, but on the surface it appears that he’s rushing back from an injured right hand to face his former team Tuesday in Brooklyn (7:30 p.m.).
The Nets forward was all but ruled out for the reunion a week ago when a broken bone in his shooting hand was supposed to have prevented him from playing for two-to-four weeks. But Pierce said Monday that there’s a “good chance” he’ll play against former teammates Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass, Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger Tuesday.
“I’ve already been past that a long time ago,” Pierce said about the storyline of facing the Celtics. “I’m a person that’s always been ‘when it’s time to move on, you move on.’ You can ask any girlfriend I’ve ever had. That’s just the way it is. There’s no hard feelings. I’m here. This is where I’m at now and you’ve gotta move on. You can’t mourn or put your head down. It’s just go to work.”
Pierce and the Nets have struggled early in the season as Pierce is averaging a career-low 12.4 points per game and the Nets have a worse record than the 10-12 Celtics at 6-14.
Kevin Garnett, who is averaging 6.4 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game, will also face Boston for the first time as an ex-Celtic Tuesday.
Pierce and Garnett will play their first game at TD Garden since last summer’s trade on Jan. 26. The Celtics will play against former head coach Doc Rivers for the first time since Rivers left for Los Angeles Wednesday night in Boston.