Deron Williams and Paul Pierce return to practice today, both may play vs. Boston

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

For the first time since November 15, the Nets may have their starting five on the court. The Nets haven't had a full complement of starters since they beat the Suns, 100-98 almost a month ago. Since then, every starter but Joe Johnson has lost at least one game to injury. The starters have played a total of 78 minutes together this season. Now, it's possible the starters will be whole on Tuesday.

Deron Williams was expected to practice today and did. Billy King said last week that he was likely going to play Tuesday against the Celtics. Williams had been out with an injured ankle since November 20 in the team's loss to the Bobcats.

However, the big news out of Nets' practice is that Paul Pierce returned to practice today ... and may even play against his old team. The Nets announced last Monday that Pierce had a non-displaced fracture of the third metacarpal in his right hand. Yet he was practicing today. He was expected out two to four weeks by doctors. Pierce said he hopes to play against his former team tomorrow.

Pierce would be playing eight days after being ruled out for up to a month.

Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko were both out again due to their knee and back injuries, respectively. Terry was expected to be looked at by the team's medical staff today.

Also on hand today at practice: Sergei Kushchenko, Mikhail Prokhorov's chief sports advisor and a member of the Nets board of directors.  Kushchenko has spent the last several years revamping the Russian Biathlon Union, which Prokhorov heads.  Before that, he ran CSKA Moscow for Prokhorov, winning two Euroleague championships in 2006 and 2008. He was named the Euroleague executive of the year in 2006.

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