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Your Morning Dump… Where Paul Pierce is a mudder

Chuck - Red's Army March 7, 2012 Uncategorized 6 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. 

Paul Pierce had 30 points last night, but in the Celtics 97-92 overtime victory over the Houston Rockets at the Garden, it looked more like 30 carries on a muddy football field. Some games require a different skill set. And mindset.

“As a team, we like it any way we can get it at this point,” Pierce said after the C’s fifth straight victory — on the heels of five straight losses. “Whether it’s in the mud, in the rain, in the snow, on the concrete, in 100-degree weather, we’ll take it.”

Pierce, in particular, seems to relish such a game. “I mean,” he said, “it fits my personality.”

Herald – On sloppy night, Pierce powers through

The Truth we know and love, is back. 

After an impressive stretch in mid-to-late January where Paul Pierce dominated games playing point-forward in Rajon Rondo's absence, he faded in February. The effort was subpar on many nights and I wondered if he was playing with an injury. There were 7 games where he scored 15 or fewer points while playing 35 or more minutes.

March has been another story. Dare I say, the switch has been flipped. In three games, he's averaging 30 points and shooting 62%. He's averaging 5 rebounds and 5 assists. He's also passing the eye test. The hustle, effort and will-to-win are visibly obvious. 

Related link: Globe – Pierce had the will to win | ESPN Boston – Pierce keeps playing closer

On Page 2, Ray Allen channels his inner Maverick.

"I had a couple early in the game that didn't go in for me, and I was watching how they were guarding me," Allen said after the game. "So as the fourth quarter came along, every time I got the ball, I knew they were trying to run me off the 3, so I said, 'This 3 is going to be on my terms.'" 

The 3 in question was Allen's biggest shot of the night, as he found himself open in the left corner, took a feed from Brandon Bass and buried the shot to put the C's up by two, capping off a 14-2 Boston run that saw them overcome an 80-70 deficit with just over 5½ minutes remaining. 

"When [Courtney] Lee jumped at me, I was going to pump-fake him and let him fly by me, just like one of my favorite movies, 'Top Gun,'" Allen joked. "Put on the brakes and let him fly by."

ESPN Boston – Ray Allen clutch as 4th quarter assassin



I'm gonna hit the breaks, he'll fly right by

Like Pierce, February was not kind to Ray Allen. Sure, just about any player in the history of the league would take his 40% shooting percentage from three, but that's about 10 percentage points lower than what he shot in January. 

No matter how much Ray is struggling in a certain game, when he rises up for a shot late in a close game, I always feel like it's going to drop. 

Related link: WEEI – Allen comes through in clutch

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – Bass likely vs 76ers | KG passes Shaq in career rebounds | Rapid Reaction: Cs 97 – Rockets 92 | Globe – Garnett hits rebounding milestone | Celtics survive in OT | CSNNE – All of a sudden, Cs playing for Atlantic Division lead | Garnett passes Shaq for 12th in rebounds | Celtics – Rockets review: What we saw | McHale can relate to talk of aging Big 3 | Herald – Celtics streak stays alive | Passion back for McHale | Celtics awaken in time to beat Rockets

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

    Hope everyone took a mental snapshot of the Rockets since it’s plausible we may join them in NBA no mans land. They are a competitive team but not a contender. Once upon a time they had Yao and TMAC before succumbing to injuries. Morey couldn’t rebuild on lottery picks, so he front loaded good players in the hopes of one day trading them for a superstar.
    BTW … Houston has 5 team options going into the off season yet none played last night. They would love to use a combination of any of those five plus Scola, Dalembet, Lowry or Martin in the hopes of trading for Gasol or Howard next week.
    Unless Howard punches his ticket to Boston this might be the only option left for Danny because the next superstar wearing green is likely not even the league yet. I’ve always said trading one or all of our future HOF’s is unlikely unless it returns a lottery pick worthy of many ping pong balls. Its hard to envision team like Houston with trade assets pulling off a KG type deal or in our case charting a course of getting worse to get better.
    So we may be looking at Rondo, maybe Pierce and four players in the vernacular of Bass with strengths, but discernible weaknesses. Tonight’s game will be interesting, but what shakes out over the next week may set the tone for the next five years.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01157060540b970b Orb

    Whenever Paul has a run like February, it comes out later that he was injured in some way. He’s too stubborn not to play, and then when he comes out of it he says “I probably should’ve rested it.” (Kindof like Doc limiting minutes…) Hopefully he’s on the other side now.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f2d28d7970c BigMck

    Right on about the Rockets. They are lacking the elite player who can close and elevate the play of everyone else.

  • Mike

    Anyone else see Bass and Pierce going at each other in the huddle after Bass missed that jumper with 2-3 minutes left?
    There were some people up in arms about the Rondo/Bass tidbit in Jackie Mac’s article the other day. Just more evidence that this stuff probably happens all the time, we just rarely see it.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redslovechild1 Redslovechild

    I saw it…the camera pulled away just as it was getting good.
    Bass seemed to be doing most of the yelling. Most, if not all, of his four missed shots on the night were way short.

  • Mike