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Your Morning Dump… Paul Pierce needs to step up or sit down

Chuck - Red's Army May 16, 2012 Paul Pierce, The Morning Dump, Uncategorized 19 Comments

Truth
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.

Bothered by a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, Pierce has averaged a lowly 10.5 points and converted just 5 of 20 field goal attempts in the series, defended vigorously by Andre Iguodala, whose body resembles a series of long bones padded by sharply defined muscles. Iguodala’s lankiness is giving Pierce problems, and the knee problem is not allowing Pierce to explode to the basket.

But his lack of production has also been a byproduct of inactivity. Twenty shots in 77 minutes is a stunningly low number for an All-Star scorer. By comparison, Brandon Bass has attempted 24 (in 48 minutes), Rajon Rondo 27, Ray Allen 24, and Avery Bradley 17.

The knee injury unquestionably is an issue, but that should not stop him from attempting to get to the free throw line or imposing his will offensively. The results may be ghastly sometimes, but it is better than watching Pierce stand on the perimeter while Garnett gets gobbled up by triple-teams.

Globe – Time for the star to shine

Andre Iguodala is a helluva individual defensive player. It's likely he'd be giving Paul Pierce fits even if Pierce's was 100 percent.

But… if the Celtics are going to go down, they might as well go down with Pierce swinging. This "Pierce has a decoy" scheme isn't working. 

When the Celtics absolutely, positively needed Pierce to deliver in Game 2 of the Hawks series, he churned out a marvelous performance.

Get Pierce the ball, early and often. Let's see if he can be aggressive despite the knee. Let's see if the jumper is falling. Let's see if he can facilitate the offense and rebound. 

If not… I'd put him on the bench. Mickael Pietrus hasn't exactly been lighting it up, but he showed signs of life in the 4th quarter of Game 2. Hell, I'd even look at Marquis Daniels. 

Related links: ESPN Boston – Pierce hurting and Sixers know it | Herald – Pierce has his D-mons | WEEI – Brand feels (and sees) Pierce's pain

The rest of the links:

Globe – Wondering how low they'll go | Allen there to carry the load | CSNNE – Celtics look to improve individual defense | Celtics struggle as Garnett's touches diminish | Celtics head into Philly full of confidence | Herald – Celtics may pay dearly for mental miscues | Celtics try to strike delicate balance | Pietrus returns to Philly | WEEI – Where did the offense go?

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f5d5008970c Jester00

    Sasha is better then Q FACT

  • http://nba.com Leo

    I like your analysis
    I hope Doc will have the guts to bench him for long stretches (including the 4th) if he isnt performing
    Then again this is Paul Pierce, The Truth…. and he will most likely explode for 34 tonight

  • Mike

    With Pierce struggling, I’m looking at two people to step up the scoring load: Bass and Rondo. Bass needs to hit the jumper he hit all year consistently. And Rondo needs to go against his deeply ingrained basketball philosophy and actually shoot the ball. 6-15 and 4-12 aren’t good shooting percentages at all, but those numbers are a bit skewed since Rondo seems to only shoot with the shot clock or quarter winding down.
    I expect 20 and 10 from Garnett again, that may be unfair, but he’s played himself into those expectation. What I dont expect, is for Pierce to suddenly go off for 25. Not with his knee in it’s current condition and not with Iguodala defending him. Thats why i think the celts need 20 from Bass and Rondo.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/frickenwaaaltaaah frickenWaaaltaaah

    This is a Marty McFly moment. The Sixers are taunting Paul to play tonight. Look at how Tony Battie is subtly pressuring Paul and pushing his buttons, trying to make it seem like it’s a given that Paul has to play.
    You can’t do something stupid just because they called you chicken.
    They know that a Paul Pierce with no lift and a step slow on D is actually A LOT better for them than dealing with Pietrus and Vujacic splitting minutes. Pietrus and Vujacic are good vets who can handle pressure. This is exactly what the C’s got them for. Splitting minutes should even give them an edge over Iduodala they can work with; they can try running him ragged for a game or two.
    The correct answer is for Paul to sit out tonight, and the Sixers know it.
    Paul playing hurt is probably the biggest thing the Sixers have going for them now. It’s the main thing that is giving the Sixers a real chance to advance.
    Play Pietrus and Vujacic and sit Paul and go for it. If they can get the win, do it again on Friday.
    Paul playing hurt is pumping up the confidence of the Sixers. It feeds into their general athleticism advantage. It’s giving them a chance to win when they really shouldn’t have one.
    The opposite is also probably true. Sit Paul and there’s a fair chance you’ll see them deflate tonight. Paul should buy a suit and smile and cheer lead and relax and enjoy the game. The Sixers will know that their playoff chances are fading.
    Last bit of series logic:
    If Paul doesn’t play and they lose, the C’s are down 2-1 and it’s not that big a deal. Paul comes back Friday, they get the win, and they are tied 2-2. If Paul plays and they lose, it’s the same situation only Paul hasn’t given the knee a chance to rest.
    Sit back and relax, Paul. Let your team handle this one for you.

  • Bob

    I read this site a lot but have never commented. I don’t agree with the Globe’s assessment that Pierce is just standing around the perimeter while Garnett get’s gobbled up by triple-teams. Any time Pierce has the ball in a pick a roll situation they are doubling him right away. In game 1 he made the right passes out of the double team (especially in the 4th quarter when he had 3 straight assists down the stretch). In game 2 he passed out of the double team but had 5 turnovers from lazy or tipped passes.
    To comment on frickenWaaaltaaah’s post, that might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. You have no credibility when you confused Vujacic for Sasha about 4 different times.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/groove22 Groove22

    Agree… Doc needs to sit him if he isn’t performing down the stretch and really hope that Pietrus continues to ride the Air France type momentum he had at the end of the game on Monday. This being said:
    I desperately hope Rondo gets into the paint early and often tonight without making some of those questionable last minute dishes.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/groove22 Groove22

    Also, didn’t know the C’s acquired Vujacic….. (LOL)

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

    The Celtics are not winning without Pierce.
    Sure, it`s fun to think that Sasha or Peaches will come off the bench and explode for 30, while Paul gets a much needed night off, but that`s not reality.
    Here, sitting Pierce is the equivalent of waving a white flag.

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

    He obviously means another Sasha. Jester will not be amused… Good points though… Rest PP. There’s plenty weapons available so no need to use Truth.

  • Bob

    Agree 100%. Pauls had 1 mediorce game where he was big down the strech and 1 terrible game. I don’t understand this sit Pierce thing at all. Instead of doubling Pierce off the pick and rolls they will double KG (if MP or Sasha is out there) and he won’t be getting wide open 18 foot jumpers.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/frickenwaaaltaaah frickenWaaaltaaah

    Lol so I did. What are you, Serbian or something? Said Vujacic, meant Pavlovic, gee how could that happen.
    Relax fella. ‘Crossed wires’ aka ‘brain farts’ happen all the time on the internet. Don’t act like your own brain farts don’t smell.
    I mean come on, if that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever read, you really need to read more. I’ll top that myself once a week, and even just looking here, there’s plenty more to choose from.

  • James Eisenman

    They will NOT and SHOULD not sit Pierce. None of the substitutes you’re talking about hold a candle to Paul, even in this state. He’s gotten his shots off, so Igoudala claiming his defense is stopping Pierce is somewhat bull. Maybe Iggy is responsible for Paul getting less than his usual amount of shots but the missed shots have been mostly Paul’s usual bread-and-butter shots. We need to take the ball out of Rondo’s hands all the time and let Paul handle it more. He is much better getting his shots when he does that. He is not like Ray, a catch-and-shoot guy. He is more of a make-my-own-space shooter. I don’t think the knee will hold him back tonight. And the one thing Doc MUST do is take the ball out of Rondo’s hands at the end of quarters and the game. He is a terrible decision-maker in those situations. He falls in love with his dribble, holds the ball too long and usually ends up having to shoot those clutch shots himself. I’d much rather see one of the big three handling those crucial plays.

  • James Eisenman

    You’re definitely NOT Serbian. It’s Sasha Pavlovic. And PP is not Marty McFly. He is The Truth because you can’t handle the truth! He will play and he will be fine because somewhere deep down in places we don’t want to talk about, we Want him on that floor. We Need him on that floor. We don’t need him in a suit. We need him in his dress whites, baby! Keep the faith and pray for me shouting “Paul Pierce for 3″ as he drops a reign of terror on the 76ers.

  • James Eisenman

    Greens would be even better! LOL

  • Bob

    Fair enough. I guess I just don’t agree with almost anything you said in your post especially when you say the Sixers will be deflated seeing Paul sit. I think they would be extremely happy if Paul is in street clothes.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/the_bantam the_bantam

    Stop saying Vujacic, that dude will hopefully never wear green and is a Grade A bitch.
    Do you mean Pavlovic?

  • CoachBo

    You mean like that possession with a minute left the other night where Rondo pounded the ball at the top of the key and disregarded three available wing passes, two to Allen?
    Yeah, exactly right. Rondo’s decision-making bordered on the absurd at times the other night – open layups disregarded for idiotic backwards no-look passes to shooters who weren’t making a thing. We get it, Rajon. You’re really cool. Why don’t you have your knob-slobberers pen you another blog love letter?
    I’m not in love with the late Pierce iso, either, but I like those options more than Rondo dribbling out the clock and firing up an off-balance jumper.
    In the meantime, find ANYONE who can initiate the offense by moving the damn basketball. I don’t care if it’s the Great White Dope, Stiemsma.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/kwapt KWAPT

    People just don’t get it. You can only do what your body will let you. You don’t think Pierce is dying to attack the rim and bury elbow-jumpers? His movement is extremely limited-dude’s knee is in bad shape. This is when OTHER guys a la Bass or “insert name here” have to step-up. It happens every year in the playoffs-stars are hurt and other guys step-up. Or that team goes home.

  • James Eisenman

    Exactly!