Peep Show

Updated: January 19, 2004, 9:37 AM ET
By By Terry Brown | NBA Insider

Paul Pierce
Boston Celtics: The mind seems willing for Paul Pierce, but the body remains weak. "I'm not really bothered by the way I'm shooting. I think I got good looks. I missed a couple of layups,'' Pierce said in the Boston Herald despite an injured finger and career-low 40 percent shooting. "I'm never going to be worried about my shooting touch because I know in the long run it's going to be there for me. I feel good. Whenever I feel good mentally then all these other things just go out the window. Right now I'm feeling about as good as I have mentally all year. The physical things, I can work through those things."

Seattle SuperSonics: These are usually the words they inscribe on the tombstones of old coaches. "Right now, I'm not reaching these guys," Sonics head coach Nate McMillan said in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. But he wasn't finished after his team lost their fourth in a row. "You've got to play with some heart," McMillan said. "This is the third game I've seen a loose ball, and we've had guys to reach for it, and they've had guys dive for it. For whatever reason why we're playing this way, I certainly have to take responsibility for that. Because you've got to come up with something to say, something to do to get them fired up, and they haven't responded to that." That wasn't the end of it, either. "I know what I'm giving it, that I'm giving it my all," McMillan said. "I've got to figure out what to do. Which are the right buttons to push, because I feel that this is the team where the right buttons have to be pushed."

New York Knicks: Once upon a time, Allan Houston called himself the best shooting guard in the NBA. Well, now he has another bold statement. "We're going to make the playoffs," Houston said in the New York Times. "Whatever happens, I don't care, we want to make the playoffs." And he wasn't the only one sounding so optimistic after the Knicks won their third game in a row. "This is probably as talented a team on paper as I had in New Jersey since we reached the finals," Keith Van Horn said.

Amare Stoudemire
Phoenix Suns: Amare Stoudemire and Antonio McDyess have more than their uniforms in common. "My toe hurts more than my ankle right now," Stoudemire said in the Arizona Republic as the team announced that he would miss at least the next two games. "I've got to take it day by day. I might not play on this trip, though . . . I've got to take my time and let my ankle heal. I can't let anybody force me to come back and play or tell me it's OK when I know it's not. So I'm going to take my time and take it day by day. Go by my inner feeling." McDyess will miss even more. "We'll spend however long it takes to get him back to where he can be efficient and strong," Suns trainer Aaron Nelson said. "With so many games right now, it's hard for him to do both (play and strengthen the leg). It's enough (of a deficiency) to limit him. He's not fully comfortable, and you can see he compensates. He uses his right leg as much as he can. He's been working on it for a couple of days, and things are going good. We'll get it stronger and he'll be ready to roll. But we're not going to put a time limit on it."

New Jersey Nets: The Nets are about to hit the road for seven of their next eight games and hope not to shoot themselves in the foot. "For the last two years, we haven't had that much success for who knows why," said Jason Kidd in the New York Post. "But for us to be an elite team, we have to find a way to win on the road." His coach agreed. "We need to stay positive. We know we've got a good team. We just need to keep our heads up as we get on the road," Byron Scott said. "It's a place you can get well very quickly. We've got three very tough opponents, so we've got to have our 'A' game, and be ready to play all three games."