The rundown (a quick look at postgame headlines)
Breaking down Boston's injury report after Game 5
When asked about the daunting road a fourth seed faces in the NBA playoffs, Celtics coach Doc Rivers often noted that he'd gladly travel that path in exchange for a healthy roster. In essence, that's the decision Boston made in the final months of the regular season, sacrificing some winnable games in order to rest its players at times.
For the first 14 games of this postseason, that plan worked to perfection and Boston stood one win away from the NBA Finals after winning the first three games of the conference finals against Orlando. Now, after the Magic rallied their way back into this series, health is suddenly a concern for Boston.
While the team offered no official update in regards to the players' status for Friday's Game 6 in Boston, here's a quick rundown on what happened and how it should affect the player moving forward:
* Glen Davis
- What happened?: Davis absorbed an elbow to the face from Dwight Howard that not only left him momentarily knocked out on the hardwood, but the blow appeared to knock out at least one of Davis' teeth as well. Big Baby eventually stumbled to his feet and staggered across the court, needing to be held up by referee Joey Crawford before play was stopped to attend to him.
Doctor's diagnosis: Concussion.
Davis' thoughts: "I’m alright. I’ll be back next game. [Expletive]. That’s all you need to print."
Rivers' thoughts: "Baby, I know, is a concussion. I don't know how bad. I know he blacked out on the floor. I was just trying to get him to get back down on offense at the time."
Projection: Davis is likely going to have to pass a battery of tests before they'll allow him back on the floor. It'd be a surprise, if he was available Friday, but we'll find out more from Rivers Thursday afternoon.
* Marquis Daniels
- What happened?: Daniels appeared to lean in towards the basket during fourth-quarter action and a pair of defenders quickly collapsed, one landing a blow towards the top of the forehead, forcing Daniels to stagger backwards (he was called for traveling) and leave the game while looking a bit disoriented.
Doctor's diagnosis: Concussion.
Daniels' thoughts: Davis got undressed under the watchful eye of the training staff and locker neighbor Nate Robinson told reporters, "He ain't talking."
Rivers' thoughts: "Marquis, same thing [as Davis], he blacked out as well when he got hit. Lot of elbows."
Projection: Daniels has only been used in emergency situations off the bench and would likewise need a full evaluation to determine how quick he can return. Daniels seemed a bit shaken in the locker room, but was able to chat with Robinson about not remembering the actual play that caused him to black out momentarily.
* Rasheed Wallace
- What happened?: Wallace complained of back pain after tweaking it during game action.
Doctor's diagnosis: Back spasms.
Wallace's thoughts: "I ain't saying [expletive]."
Rivers' thoughts: "Rasheed tweaked his back on that one play."
Projection: With Kendrick Perkins potentially sidelined for Game 6 unless the league rescinds one (or both) of his technical fouls from Wednesday, it's likely going to take more than spasms to sideline Wallace, who will be even more important in defending Howard.
* Paul Pierce
- What happened?: Pierce got hammered by Howard after getting the Magic defender off his feet in a crowd around the basket.
Doctor's diagnosis: Shoulder stinger (at least according to Pierce)
Pierce's thoughts: "It's the same stinger; same stuff that’s been happening all year long."
Projection: Pierce collapsed in a heap, but that's not unusual, and returned to the Boston sideline during a TV timeout, but was back on the floor when play resumed. While the shoulder seems a recurring problem, it's unlikely to prevent him from playing. Though Pierce certainly did struggle after the first quarter Wednesday (see below).
Hall call? Pierce joins postseason 2,000-point club
* With a free throw with 3:19 to play in the first half, Paul Pierce became only the ninth player in Celtics’ history to score 2,000 career postseason points.
Pierce joined some elite company as the eight previous players to reach that plateau are all in the Hall of Fame in Larry Bird, John Havlicek, Kevin McHale, Sam Jones, Robert Parish, Bill Russell, Tommy Heinsohn, and Bob Cousy.
As he did in Game 4, Pierce seemed to run out of gas after a quick start to Game 5. He scored 10 points in 8 1/2 minutes, then scored just eight more the rest of the way. In fact, Pierce didn't make a single field goal over the final 39 1/2 minutes of the game, settling for eight free throws.
After all the hype about Matt Barnes guarding Pierce in this series, it was the Magic's other defenders that did the best job on Boston's captain. Pierce finished 3-for-5 overall against Barnes, including a pair of 3-pointers, for 12 points. Against others, he was 0-for-3 for six points, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Loose balls: Record-setting offense; No contest for C's
* With Wallace leading the team in scoring Wednesday, the Celtics established a new postseason record by not having the same player lead the team in scoring on back-to-back games this postseason, a remarkable string of 16 games.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Seattle SuperSonics held the previous record at 15 games set in 1978, while the Detroit Pistons went 13 games in 1989.
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy provided the quote of the night when talking about Wallace.
"I'll tell you what, Rasheed Wallace -- I want to say this in the right way ‑‑ I hate the guy," said Van Gundy. "I mean, he never, ever ‑‑ the same thing when I was in Miami ‑‑ it's like the guy never, ever, ever has a bad game against the team I coach. So incredible. He's playing extremely well."
* No contest: The Celtics simply shoot better without a hand in their face.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the trio of Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, and Pierce were a combined 8 for 28 from the field on contested field goal attempts (0-for-4 3-point FG) and 5-for-6 on uncontested attempts, including 3-for-3 from 3-point territory.