Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers says he will do his best to ensure he does not overuse recent arrival Paul Pierce this season.
The Californian signed a three-year deal with the franchise in July following a year with the Washington Wizards and will be looking to help his new team to a third straight Pacific Division title.
Pierce still averaged 26.2 minutes during the 2014-15 regular season for the Wizards, a total that improved to 29.8 in the play-offs.
However, at 37-years-old his age means he could struggle at times in the upcoming campaign, meaning he is likely to be rested when opportunities arise.
Rivers and Pierce previously won the NBA Championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008 and the coach admits he is already thinking about how to use the veteran to ensure he is firing come play-off time.
“Paul will be great. Paul, I don’t want to overuse him. I know that,” Rivers told reporters. “So, I don’t even know how we are going to use him yet. I want to play him at [power forward] a lot.
“What I want him to be is healthy in the playoffs. So however we can figure that out, that’s what I’m going to try to do.”
He added: “I don’t even know if I’m going to start him. It’s going to be interesting. I think it’s going to be great. I just don’t know yet. We have a lot of [good] players, which is great.”
The Clippers are currently priced as the 11.00 fifth favourites to win the Championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers leading the betting at 3.75.