Report: While Pierce may not start games, he could finish them

Paul Pierce has begun his 18th season in the NBA and to make sure he's fresh for the playoffs, head coach Doc Rivers may limit his minutes during the regular season. Rivers is also using Pierce as a backup to begin the season and the head coach doesn't think that decision is a big deal. From Robert Morales of the Long Beach Press-Telegram:

    "Doc Rivers has been telling reporters that it’s not so much who starts, but who finishes a game that is most important. Rivers was bugged throughout the preseason about who was going to start at small forward, a spot that became available when the Clippers traded Matt Barnes during the off-season. Lance Stephenson earned the start Wednesday, but it was Pierce who finished. ... Pierce loved being on the court with the first unit, even though he did not start the game with it."

It should be noted that at times Pierce will play more minutes than Stephenson or about the same as Rivers will use the 18-year veteran late in games. Through two games, Stephenson has played 40 minutes, while Pierce has been on the floor for 44 minutes.