Celtics' Paul Pierce out with illness

Boston Celtics All-Star Paul Pierce did not attend practice Monday due to an illness, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England.

Team officials told reporters that Pierce's illness is nothing to be overly concerned about, as he's expected to be in the team's lineup today against the Indiana Pacers. Blakely described the illness as Pierce being "a bit under the weather."

Pierce has been held out of three contests so far this month. Two have been attributed to an ankle injury, though there is some thought that the team had simply been resting him and fellow veteran Kevin Garnett prior to the playoffs. He also missed a game for the birth of his first son.

The Celtics are set to take on the New York Knicks in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Pierce -- along with Brandon Bass and Jeff Green -- is expected to get the challenging task of defending Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony.

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