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Your Morning Dump… Pierce is the antidote for LeBron

Chuck - Red's Army April 29, 2011 Uncategorized 7 Comments

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. 

1. Paul Pierce is the antidote to LeBron James

Defending LeBron is never a one-on-one ordeal, let’s get that out of the way. But if LeBron wants to get to the NBA Finals, he may have to plow through three of the best wing defenders in the NBA in Andre Iguodala, Paul Pierce and Luol Deng. Iguodala did an admirable job defending LeBron, but Pierce may have his number.

According to Newmann and Oliver, Pierce checked LeBron 69 percent of the time, with Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green and Marquis Daniels (no longer with the team) filling in the rest. But against Pierce, LeBron shot just 43 percent from the field and his efficiency plummeted to depths rarely seen from him. In fact, LeBron scored 75 points per 100 possessions with Pierce covering him, down from his 93 points per 100 possessions when guarded by all other Celtics defenders.

That’s a huge difference, and considering how often the ball is in LeBron’s hands, it's imperative for the Celtics that Pierce to avoid foul trouble.

ESPN – The book on Lebron vs Boston

Amazing research. Those numbers are based on 277 possessions in which LeBron was on the floor vs Boston this season.

I'm confident Pierce will be able to replicate those numbers. But how will Jeff Green perform? I'm already biting my nails…

You can forget the Rondo experiment. While we all remember Rondo pestering Lebron like a mosquito, the research shows James scored at nearly twice the rate of Pierce.

Related links: Herald – Next up for Pierce: Lebron | WEEI – Legacies on the line: Pierce vs Lebron |

On Page 2, the ESPN expert picks for the series.


Expertpicks

For the mathematically challenged or lazy, that's 7 to 5 in favor of the Heat. I was expecting more of a discrepancy.

The most telling prediction – Heat beat reporter Brian Windhorst. He knows Miami better than anybody on that list.

I'm starting to think John Hollinger has a personal vendetta against Boston. Maybe KG gave him a wedgie…

Without revealing too much of our soon-to-be-released series preview, I can tell you 6 is a popular number. Give us your prediction in our new poll (right sidebar).

Related links: Herald – Can the Celtics beat Heat?

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – Importance of starters | Inside Hollinger's playoff surprises | Globe – Green's turn has come | It's all with the starters | Herald – Never too soon for Celtics/Heat | Smooth Cs lie ahead | Nothing to learn from last dance | CSNNE – Celts/Heat position by position |

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/alexcosta Alex Costa

    If Boston wins Game 1, it’s going to be another sweep. If Boston loses Game 1, I would say Boston in 5. Sure, I might sound like I’m wearing green-tinted shades but I know Boston is far superior as a team than the Miami Heat and our bench has more playoff experience than their bench (and personally, I think the Celtic’s bench is a lot better than theirs).
    Also, if these games come to a grind and Miami needs to be clutch to win games, they are screwed. They are 1-19 in FGM&A at clutch periods (<10 sec left in game) FFS!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01157053529f970b zippittyay

    Gee, our poll goes 38-0 for the Celtics winning.
    The frikkin suspense is just killin me!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/alexcosta Alex Costa

    People just want the Miami Heat to lose. ;D

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01157053529f970b zippittyay

    yes, this may be the only series we’ve had or will have in a while where we are the ‘popular choice’…

  • http://profile.typepad.com/mannoperry Perry Manno

    If Miami decides to share the ball, or uses JBL/Wade on the screen roll, they’ll be extremely hard to defend because Wade or LBJ will receiving a pass on the move instead of watching one dribble then kicking out to the other for a flat footed 16-23ft. jump shot. That’s one reason why PP has been kryptonite for LBJ. Just as it was in Cleveland LBJ dominates the ball in a Heat uniform. This enables PP to set while his teammates load up the strong side, rotate and then contest jump shots late in the shot clock. The same holds true for Wade as he and LBJ have a habit of taking turns playing superman. Obviously Miami is the best at points scored on transition possessions, so the Celts must cut down on the turnovers (12.8/100 possessions vs. NY). No one expects PP to match LBJ point for point, but his straight up ‘D’ is critical because if the Celts plan on doubling LBJ or Wade with Rondo it could enable Chalmers, Jones, and EH to convert momentum changing shots. But this series will be less about the supporting cast and more about James-Wade-Bosh as they accounted for more than half of the Heat’s points vs. Philly. Bosh can nail that 16-23 ft. shot, but KG has the edge over Bosh (15.3/9.8r, + 4.3 … Bosh 13.8/8.6r), head to head on the court this season. Wade and James are not elite jump shooters either. So the Celts must get physical and protect the rim. LBJ is virtually indestructible, but Wade can be worn down in this series.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    fuckin hollinger

  • http://profile.typepad.com/rtcoaster Shawncvd

    I know, huh, what a douche.