All of Boston held its breath. I sat there and thought "we've come this far… only to have it fall apart." Paul Pierce didn't just go down… he needed to be carried off. His return has people making "Willis Reed" comments. They're talking about Larry breaking his face against the Pacers. And others, like Bill Plaschke, say it was all a show:
Paul Pierce, the Boston Celtics captain, was carried from the opening game of the NBA Finals in the third quarter Thursday with an apparent serious knee injury that momentarily deadened and distracted the Lakers.
At which point, Pierce came running back to finish them off.
To nearly 50 years of delicious Celtics-Lakers lore, add a new apparent bit of chicanery.
Call it the Fake N'Shake.
The Celtics won Game 1, 98-88, on the momentum of a recovery that smacked more of professional wrestling than professional basketball.
Plaschke has put his ESPN Blowhard training to good use. Why wait for the actual diagnosis before making this kind of excusecomment? Just come out, make a definitive, inflammatory statement… get attention… and move on. Yay Bill… you get your attention. Now you're no better than Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless as soulless self promoters who will say whatever it takes to get some extra publicity. Enjoy being lumped into that cesspool.
To hear Paul describe a "pop" and pain in the inner knee makes me think there is some kind of tear in the meniscus or medial collateral ligament. That's purely a guess on my part… and it might just be a sprain. However… people can play with mild meniscus or MCL injuries… usually with a big brace on the knee.
Pierce had another "moment" last night. It's another lasting memory in the minds of young fans that they'll romanticize later in life when they talk about their favorite player going into the Hall of Fame. These playoffs are full of those "moments" for Paul Pierce… whether Plaschke likes them or not.
Herald: Injured Pierce keys game 1 win | Pain no match for Pierce | Brown comes up big | Late struggles have KG feeling hungry | Ray crucial to containing Kobe | Wyc ready to enjoy the ride | Kobe In Denial | Dr. J remembers 'Beat LA' | Globe: Comeback kids | Return to Glory | Ryan: remember, its only one | Pierce felt pain, hurt Lakers | Pierce, Perk leave with injuries | Kobe not shooting straight | Odom not feeling pressure | Souza: Truth Hurts | Megliola: Opener lived up to hype | SI: Stuff of legends | Big 3 debut in style | ESPN: Pierce shows his worth