Paul Pierce willing to come off bench


NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets small forward Paul Pierce came off the bench for just the fourth time in his career Tuesday night, but says he's open to being a reserve going forward if it's what's best for the team.

"It's all a mental approach and how you approach the game," Pierce said following the Nets' 104-96 victory over his former team, the Boston Celtics, at Barclays Center.

"If you approach the game looking at the big picture and it's all about the team and it's about winning, if that's what's best for the team, then so be it. I'm willing to do whatever"

Nets coach Jason Kidd plans to talk to Pierce about the possibility of being a full-time reserve, but hasn't committed to it just yet. Pierce, 36, has started 1,114 of the 1,118 regular season games he's played in during his 16-year career. He had not come off the bench since the 2006-07 campaign.

"I liked what I saw," Kidd said. "I liked him being a leader of that second group. Will I stay that way? I don't know. We'll look at the video tomorrow as a team and coaches, but I'll talk to Paul and see what his comfort level is."

Pierce, returning after missing the previous five games due to a broken bone in his right hand, had four points, seven rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes. Wearing a protective glove over his hand, he went 0-for-3 from the field, and served as more of a facilitator than a scorer.

"It was a little uncomfortable," Pierce said of the glove. "I just got it today, it just came in the mail."

He then joked: "I need to spend more time with it, get to know it, take it out to the movies, I don't know. Have dinner with it. We can become comfortable with each other and hit a home run together."

In 16 games this season, Pierce is averaging just 12.4 points on 36.1 percent shooting.

The Nets (7-14) started their ninth different lineup this season: point guard Deron Williams, shooting guard Joe Johnson, center Brook Lopez, power forward Kevin Garnett and small forward Alan Anderson.

Williams, back in the lineup following a nine-game absence due to a sprained left ankle, had a season-high 25 points and seven assists in 37 minutes.

"[Deron] could be sore tomorrow, but I thought just his presence game everybody a lift tonight," Kidd said. "We will see how he feels tomorrow and we will go from there."

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to