Currently browsing category

Paul Pierce

The Final Countdown: Brooklyn Nets Season Preview

Starting Five: PG Deron Williams, SG Paul Pierce, SF Joe Johnson, PF Kevin Garnett, C Brook Lopez
 
Key Bench Players: SG Jason Terry, SF Andrei Kirilenko, PF Reggie Evans, C Andray Blatche
 
Notable offseason additions: C/PF Kevin Garnett, SG Paul Pierce, SG Jason Terry, SF Andrei Kirilenko, Head Coach Jason Kidd
 
Notable offseason subtractions:  SF Gerald Wallace, SG Keith Bogans, SG MarShon Brooks, PF Kris Humphries
 
FACT OR FICTION: The Nets will be legitimate title contenders to challenge the Miami Heat
 
FACT. Their starting five and sixth man are All-Stars. ‘Nuff said.
 
Last year, the Brooklyn Nets were the new, cool kid on the block. They moved into the neighborhood, took your lunch money, stole your girlfriend, beat you up, and did it all while Empire State of Mind blasts forth from the hulking Barclays Center in the heart of Brooklyn. Coming off the closeout year at the Prudential Center and New Jersey Nets as we knew them, riddled with injuries and trade rumors, the Nets staked their claim in New York and even saw a playoff berth. They were fresh, fun and exciting to watch, but underneath all of the glitz and the glamour the true nature of the Nets reared its ugly mug causing even the most diehard Brooklynette’s fan to look away.… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Garnett and Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets get: F/C Kevin Garnett, SF Paul Pierce, SG Jason Terry
 
Boston Celtics get: F Kris Humphries, SF Gerald Wallace, SG Keith Bogans, SF Kris Joseph, SG MarShon Brooks, 1st round picks in 2014, 2016, 2018 and rights to swap picks in 2017
 
First and foremost, let’s take a minute to memorialize The Big Three Era in Boston: you broke my spirit and I hated you with every part of my being. You played beautiful basketball to the detriment of any opponent without enough toughness to deal with it. You will be remembered as champions, though your longest lasting contribution might be bullying LeBron James for long enough that you helped him blossom into potentially the best basketball player ever. Rest in peace, or not. You assholes.
 
That felt good.
 
Let’s get this out of the way: the Celtics made the right move here. Doc is gone, Rondo is recovering from ACL surgery and their offseason moves last year didn’t completely pan out. Jeff Green is a much nicer player than most of us could have ever predicted, Jason Terry doesn’t have as much left in the tank as we all thought and both Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley didn’t develop exactly as planned. Pierce is no doubt a Celtics legend, but there’s no room for sympathy compared with delaying a rebuilding period. It’s obvious that GM Danny Ainge still bears the scars of the 1993-2007 C’s, who stunk for 15 years because the team never dealt guys like Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale and company in order to plan for the future. I would spend more time talking about the impact of Pierce’s departure in Boston, but my wheelchair of sympathy is being carted out of the arena. … Read more...

The Post-Rondo Celtics – Where Do They Go From Here?

(Along with our man Thunderstolt, we sent out an APB for The King after it was announced Sunday that Rajon Rondo was done for the season with a torn ACL. To dispute some rumblings in the New England, our man sent us a couple bullet points regarding his beloved Celtics)
 
The Celtics are not a better team without Rondo
 
The King: Incredibly, some Celtics fans have suggested that the Celtics may be better off without Rondo, citing statistics such as his +/- this year. There are a million ways to prove such thinking is ludicrous, but I’ll do it simply by providing one link:
 
KOBEsh: I have nothing further to add. People are stupid.

MAMBINO’s Eastern Conference Finals Preview

The Miami Heat versus the Boston Celtics. As soon as Derrick Rose got hurt five weeks ago, this is the matchup we all saw coming. And it is going to get messy.

Even in missing starting power forward Chris Bosh and no one on the Miami roster peaking right now save for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, essentially every person whose opinion you care about is picking the Heat to win this series. I suppose this more than anything is a testament to the greatness of South Beach’s best two players, who are playing at an otherwordly level right now.

Barring an unforseen injury to the Heat’s two remaining All-Stars, this series will be a romp. In our series preview, we’ll let you know why, but also, what the hell Boston would have to do to squeak out the massive upset. The King, our resident Celtics fan, will try to decode a method to the madness that would be a Boston series win. Here we go:

MIAMI in 5 games

Is this more a question of “how Miami will win this series” or “why Boston is at a serious disadvantage”? I think it’s a bit of both, to be honest.
Without Chris Bosh, the supporting cast on this Miami roster is not only worse than last year’s runnner-ups, but one of the worst in the entire playoffs. Wing players Shane Battier and Mike Miller are shooting 27% and 37% respectively from the field. Udonis Haslem has slipped to just 5 points and 5 rebounds in 18 minutes, down from 6 and 7 in the regular season. Joel Anthony, playing 23 minutes a game has watched his usually strong post defense slip a bit, while only putting in 4 points and 4 boards. Mario Chalmers is the only saving grace of the role players, playing confidently and throwing down a 11/4/3 line. Going forward, I find it hard to believe that these guys will give the Heat much more than this. I’d expect performances equal or slightly better than what they’ve been doing the first two rounds.

I bring all this up to illustrate how unbelievable Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are. Bron’s 29/9/6 nightly stat line, as well as Wade’s 24/4/3, are elevating an weak Miami team from D-League throwaways to potential Finalists. They are the crux to both the Heat defensive scheme and offensive attack, changing the game with their incredible energy and skill on both sides of the floor. Night in and night out, these two guys have to play like the two best players in the league to win ball games. Luckily for Miami, they’ve been just that in victories. Bad games, like Game 3 in Indiana, mean losses. It’s a very, very simple formula.

I cannot possibly overstate the importance towards LeBron and Wade having great games, every game for the Heat to win. Their supporting players are giving them next to nothing and I see no reason for that to change. For as much as everyone gets on both these guys for being such weak characters, they’ve risen to the challenge that the Heat’s roster has presented them with. Every coach knows that they have to stop these guys to win the game. It’s just that no one can do it. Amazing.
Thus, a game Boston Celtics team could actually have a decently easy time of beating up on a limited Heat squad that leans so much on trascendant performances from just two guys. However, Avery Bradley (their best perimeter defender) is out for the rest of the postseason with a shoulder injury and stars Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are playing with only one leg a piece. The C’s have suffered so many personnel losses over the season that even a win over an extremely limited Sixers team took seven games. This isn’t real… Read more...

Running Diary – Celtics/Hawks Playoffs Game 2

One of the more intense sports debates I’ve had was three years ago about who was better now and who would have the better career: Jacoby Ellsbury or Brett Gardner. While three of us, including one Yankees fan, could agree that Ellsbury was superior, another Yankees fan was convinced that Gardner was the superior player. Fast forward to this offseason, I asked that same guy if he still thought Gardner was the better player to which he responded, “I said he was a better fit for the Yankees team at that time, not that he was a better player.” That situation right there exemplifies one of the annoying habits of many sports fans – revisionist history.

I’ve always wondered if I am guilty of this particularly in circumstances when I’m watching a game. For that reason, I decided to do a Bill Simmons-style running diary of the Celtics and Hawks game. Let’s hit it:

Pregame – Keys to the game for Boston are: i) big minutes and big games out of both Pierce and Garnett; ii) energy from tipoff to buzzer, particularly on defense; and iii) Bradley or Bass need to step up and because Bass feeds off of Rondo, it probably has to be Bradley.

Keys to the game for Atlanta: i) they need to generate more turnovers than game one which will lead to more easy buckets; ii) don’t settle for jump shots; and iii) pressure and tire out Pierce and Bradley.

7:30 – Pierce looks badass during warmups. This is our game.

7:37 – NBATV breaks news that Mickael Pietrus is starting and then Tayshaun Prince spends a few minutes discussing if Pietrus found out in time to maximize his success. This is why I skip the pregame analysis so much. Who the hell else was going to start with Allen and Rondo out? Keyon Dooling or Sasha Pavlovic? Is it a surprise that they would use the same lineup that beat Orlando (with Dwight Howard) and Indiana in the game Allen and Rondo were both out and Pietrus was healthy? Do you think Pietrus was caught off guard that Allen wouldn’t play after missing the last billion games? Idiots.

7:42 – Pierce grabs the opening tips, drives, spins and lays it in. BADASS.

7:43 – Avery Bradley brings it up and the Hawks don’t pressure him. I was reminded that Atlanta’s depth isn’t too much better than Boston’s right now, so trying to wear our Bradley and Pierce with some added pressure might not be a successful strategy.

7:43 – Pierce banks the and-1 shot. BADASS.

7:45 – Pierce hits another jumper. I know Lakers fans hate him, but you can’t deny he’s a big-game player – just like Lebron.

7:45 – Josh Smith takes his second consecutive long jump shot in a row. He could be such a better player if he realized his limitations.

7:46 – Josh Smith misses reverse slam. He could be such a better player if he wasn’t an idiot.

7:50 – Pietrus gets called for a very questionable offensive foul – his third one. With due cause, people complain about NBA referees more than any other sports officials. That foul call is a great reason why. You can’t make that call here considering the circumstances (Boston’s limited depth and a starter with two fouls) unless it’s an obvious foul.

7:59 – STIEMSMA IN YOUR FACE! 17-16, Atlanta.

7:59 – Avery Bradley with a terrific block on Teague’s layup attempt. You watch ESPN, Teague? You don’t challenge Avery Bradley.

8:04 – Another block – by Sasha Pavlovic no less. Celts are playing with great energy right now.

8:04 – Avery Bradley’s terrible decision leads to Josh Smith dunk in transition. The Celtics have to limit the easy points for the Hawks by making good decisions.

8:07 – What a blo… Read more...