The second matchup of the tournament will have Paul Pierce and Mickael Pietrus facing off. Both plays were significant in their own way, and both symbolized things to come… or so we thought. Check out the descriptions of the matchups below.
#2 Seed: Paul Pierce’s Cold-Blooded Three: The Celtics dropped the first two games in Miami during the Eastern Conference Finals, the first was a relatively routine type of loss while the second was a killer. Down 0-2, they rallied to take both games at home setting up a pivotal Game 5 in Miami. The game was close throughout and clinging to a mere one-point lead as the clocked ticked under one-minute left in the game, Paul Pierce did what he has done so many times in his career: defined hero ball by taking a risky three-pointer with LeBron James right on him, with the game and likely season in the balance. Pierce drills it, silencing the Miami crowd and igniting dreams of third trip to the NBA Finals as well as eliminating LeBron again in the playoffs. Alas, it didn’t happen as LeBron’s epic Game 6 performance at the Garden, and fourth quarter take over in Game 7 dashed those dreams. But for one moment, this moment, Paul Pierce sent Celtics fans into a frenzy and made us all believe that they were heading back to The Finals. Hero ball, meaning shots like these, are routinely criticized, but you have to admit: they’re exciting as hell when they go in.
#31 Seed: Air France Blasts Off Against Sixers: The Celtics were capping off a successful and exhausting road trip that began out west an concluded in Philadelphia. Having taken the last two games in Atlanta and Milwaukee (both teams were playing well and vying for playoff seeding and/or positioning) the Celtics crept within a half game of the Atlantic Division leading Sixers. Philly had led the division all season while the Celtics finally had a chance to take control of the division in front of a national audience. The C’s got absolutely waxed the first time in Philly but this time they played very well in the first half and it would be the first game of many without Ray Allen who was out with an ankle injury. Mickael Pietrus stepped into the starting lineup and played well, punctuated with this loud slam, flying through the lane and throwing it down. Unfortunately, his promising beginning as a reliable fill-in starter ended with a scary fall that resulted in a concussion just moments later. Pietrus was never the same after that, but this dunk resonated loudly, a symbol that the C’s were not going away quietly.
Pierce’s Cold Blooded Three or Pietrus’ Slam vs Sixers?