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Recap: Paul Pierce ain’t dead yet

Chuck - Red's Army December 19, 2012 Gametime, Paul Pierce, Recaps 41 Comments

In the effort at full disclosure, I proclaimed Paul Pierce “finished” during an afternoon IM session with John. I may have been wrong.

The Truth torched Cleveland for 40 points and 6 three pointers in the Celtics 103-91 win. The Cavs are awful and played without  Anderson Varejao (knee) tonight, but who are we to be picky? A win is a win.

The Green: Pierce shot 13-16 (6-7 3FG). You might want to double check my math but I think that’s 81%. He had 17 points in the 3rd quarter when the C’s stretched their lead to 20. He had 8 points in the 4th quarter to help seal the win. I was concerned he’d get three-happy late in the game, but he stayed aggressive. Oh yeah, Pierce chipped in 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and went 8-8 from the free throw line. I heard he also served drinks in the Legends Club after the game.

Rajon Rondo had a helluva game, too – 20 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals. He pushed the pace all night long.

The Gross: The Celtics led 80-60 with 2:54 remaining in the 3rd quarter. But rather than put the proverbial nail in the coffin, the Celtics let the Cavs rip off a 20-2 run. Kyrie Irving (22 points) and Tyler Zeller (20 points, 9-15 FG) flat-out feasted on the Celtics defense. Courtney Lee (6 points, 3 TOs and -9) and Jeff Green (3 points, 1-4 FG, -17) were awful.

Greenlights:

Rajon Rondo with the perfect lob to KG on the pick-and-roll

The Grid:

  • The Celtics shot 59.7% FG and 52.9% 3FG
  • The Cavs shot 40.9% FG
  • Luke Walton had 3 points. Why is this relevant? Because I had no idea he was still in the league
  • Jason Collins was whistled for a flagrant 1. It was a hard foul but he also got a lot of ball.

Doc Rivers continues to tinker with the rotation. Jason Collins started in place of Brandon Bass. Collins had 1 point, 2 rebounds and 6 fouls in 23 minutes. He wasn’t awful (a game high +23), but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t the key to tonight’s defensive resurgence. Chris Wilcox record a DNP-CD.

Box score

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  • Drew

    PAAAAAAUUUULL PIIIIIEEEEERRRRRCCE FOR 333333333333333!!!!!!!!!!

  • Brick James

    Pierce had a great game. I too just got done calling him old and went so far to say “I don’t care if he scores 40 points a game”. Well, I guess I do, although the C’s teetered with collapse a bit there in the 4th.

  • celtics33

    Paul Pierce with a vintage performance.

    Shows the sorry state of the Celtics that they blew a 20 pt lead to a terrible team missing Varejao.

    Wasn’t Jeff Green supposed to be a big help with his young legs in times like back to back games? Invisible tonight just like against Chicago — a few good games then right back to the same old Jeff Green…

  • KWAPT

    Got home from work in time to see 4th. I know it’s “only the Cavs w/out Varejao”, but man we needed a win badly. Love how aggressive Rajon was. When he gets to the FT line alot, it opens things up so much on offense. Looks like the Captain still has some gas in that tank..

  • Blowitup

    Good, the better Pierce plays the more we can get for him.

    • jim

      im thinking the same way brotha

    • Drew

      I can’t believe there are people that want Pierce to be traded.

      • KWAPT

        The same clowns have been here for the last 4 years saying it..lol..you know during the games they’re the same ones cheering for him. Clowns.

        • Drew

          You know, as much as people will disagree with me, Pierce retiring a Celtic is more important to me than winning a championship.

          • BILLFT

            Pierce, KG… those guys are untradable to me. I’ve been writing this everyday @celticsblog too. Its a matter of respect and legacy. Trade whoever they want, but not those two.

          • RedsLoveChild

            WTF?!?

            Did you actually just say…..you would rather see Pierce retire as a Celtic, than see the Celtics win a championship???

            Not even Pierce would rather retire as a Celtic than win a second {or third/fourth} ring elsewhere!

          • TNCeltic

            Agreed, Drew. Loyalty should be rewarded. Some of you, honestly, would trade your own grandma. What’s wrong with you people?

          • RedsLoveChild

            You want loyalty?

            Pierce is not exactly “donating” his services.

            The Celtics are paying him $16M this year…another $15M next year…on top of the $152M they already have paid him since 1998.

            That`s loyalty!

          • Drew

            Good players get paid good money. What’s your point?

          • RedsLoveChild

            That loyalty flows both ways.

            The Celtics have certainly matched Pierce`s loyalty.

            The paychecks Boston has given to Pierce have been for top dollar…for many years…and none have ever bounced!

          • KGino

            Anyone willing to trade Pierce is not a true celtics fan by my definition.

          • BILLFT

            Ask Red Auerbach that (laugh). Forgeting the tradition, legacy and what else he has done for this ball club- since this is nonsense for some people-. Trade him we wouldnt get the same value back, he and KG are role models, other ball clubs dont see the same way, this kind of fellow you let expire the contract and negotiate if he wants to continue or not. There are other ways to manage, minutes diminished and put on clutch times and games for more run. And sorry to inform you, the 2008 age is gone, we are going to be champions with another string thus Pierce and KG will serve as transitions guys.

          • RedsLoveChild

            Keep Pierce and KG until they retire on their own terms…never trade either one…refuse to rebuild…live in the past…ignore the future at any cost.

            That`s exactly what the Celtics did with Bird & McHale.

            That strategy turned out real good, didn`t it? Sounds like you really enjoyed that 22 year drought!

          • Drew

            @Redslovechild There are obviously underlying issues for your NEED/LUST for another banner ASAP. Some of us fans don’t get wrapped up in the Lakers/Celtics rivalry like others. Being lord of the rings is something certain fans just don’t care about. You’d obviously be fine with seeing 3 guys not named Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Rajon Rondo hoist a banner in Celtics uniforms right now. Me, I’m not excited about that thought. In a couple of years when Pierce and KG are done, I’m fine with seeing other guys getting the job done. I don’t have any problem with the way you root for this team. All I’m saying is, some of us just want to see our favorite players retire in these uniforms. That being said, I hate The Heat a million times more than I do The Lakers. So the championship race between the Lakers and Celtics isn’t nearly as important as Pierce, KG, and Rondo beating The Heat in the play offs. Remember how bad Reggie Miller wanted to beat The Knicks in the mid nineties? That’s how I feel.

          • KGino

            We are already in the midst of rebuilding even with PP & KG.. RR AB & JS are nice pieces to a bright future. How you guys can even think about trading KG is beyond me.. do you have any idea how much worse we would be without him? SMH.

            It’s not like having PP & KG is ruining our shot at a championship.. would you rather go to war with Josh Smith and Al Horford? I wouldn’t. How about Gasol over KG? No. How about Paul George over Pierce (who he was rumored to get traded for a year or two ago)? Hell no. Why trade away 2 of your best players and INSTANTLY close your championship window in hopes of possibly having a brighter future (even though we’re already in decent shape?) It makes no sense, not to mention we are LOYAL fans who don’t want to see their favorite player over the last 15 years get traded.. what does that say about the Celtics as an organization? Come play your ass off for us for 15 years, then we’ll just throw you away as soon as your abilities start to diminish?? Who the hell would ever want to play for an organization like that? Quite honestly, it would put us at the same level of Ray Allen (faggot).

            Pierce can still do things for this team 3 years down the road.. I see him as a serviceable scorer off the bench.. maybe even a 6th Man candidate. And what good is a young team without a Veteran presence? (See Kidd in NY/DFish on Thunder last year). Who better to role model for our youngsters than The Captain who carried us for 15 years and DEFINES what it means to be a Celtic? Anyone calling to trade Pierce is an IDIOT. Who are you expecting in return that can carry us to the promise land?? Paul George?? Derozan?? Rudy Gay?? You guys are freakin kidding me right?

          • RedsLoveChild

            Why? I am not being facetious.

            I truly do not understand why seeing certain players fade into the sunset together, as Boston Celtics, is of such monumental importance to you.

            This really means more to you than seeing your favorite team win championships???

            I will always be a huge Pierce fan. I will always appreciate what KG brought here. Rondo is far less of a favorite, but he is definitely worth having around.

            Still, if a “super crazy” trade were to surface, and we had to surrender all three, in return for excellent young talent that would likely turn the Celts into a terror for years to come….yeah, I`d offer to drive them to the airport!

          • RedsLoveChild

            KGino,

            I am loyal only to the name on the FRONT of the jersey…what is on the BACK of the jersey is of far less importance.

            I only care what is best for The Celtics. For the most part, players are mercenaries. They come and go.

            Prime example : JAMES POSEY came here…did a fantastic job…helped tremendously in getting us a banner…left after 1 year for mo` money.

            It`s strictly a business for those who participate in pro sports.

            You gotta be cold-blooded…just like Posey, just like any capable GM.

          • KGino

            I see what you’re saying, and I somewhat agree. But what you’re saying is throw our Championship aspirations away NOW, take a few years to rebuild, and hope we can somehow get back to the ECF/Finals.

            You don’t trade your Captain of 15 years to take a step backwards is all I’m saying. Why not just see how this team fares seeing how far we made it last year? Who would we get to INSTANTLY replace Pierce and make us a Finals threat? I can’t think of many players, never mind players that are free for trade and have similar contracts.

            When Pierce’s contract expires, he just needs to accept less $ and a smaller role. If he is willing to be a team player in that aspect, then there is absolutely no reason to trade him.

          • KGino

            Plus, Ainge is a Cold Blooded GM if I ever saw one.. so what I think does not matter haha. I’m just the type of person that would feel weird watching the Celtics w/out Pierce.. it wouldn’t feel like the same Celtics, you know? It’s almost like my love for the Celtics would decrease 10% or something haha.. tough to explain.

          • RedsLoveChild

            KGino,

            Given what we`ve seen 33% into the season….I just cannot understand how anyone can “honestly” look at the Celtics, and see a championship parade in the streets of Boston six months from today.

            It`s almost as though teams like MIA, OKC, MEM, SA, CHI {with Rose returning} are playing a completey different sport than we are!

          • RedsLoveChild

            KGino,

            Agreed….Ainge IS very cold blooded, and that gives me hope!

          • KGino

            First off, we are not 33% into the season. Could you honestly look at last years team and say we’d be a game from the finals? Can you REALLY judge this team before we even have our starting lineup (that went 20-6 last year) play a game together?

            Here’s how I’m saying a Championship is still a possibility.. notice only 2 teams you named are in the Eastern Conf… and there’s no guarantees we’d have to play both of them.

            a.) Heat — They didn’t really look much better than us last year, and they look worse this year. On the other hand, we have an improved team from last year. If not for a few bad calls last year, who knows, we may have been in the finals. So I’m not neglecting that the Heat exist.. you’re neglecting that they CAN be beat by us.

            b.) Bulls — Yes they are very capable of beating us with Rose healthy. Is it a lock? I don’t think so. I’d give the edge to whoever has home court.

            What you’re not understanding is that the playoffs are different from the regular season. How much better would C’s be if we played rondo 42-44 min a game and KG 33-35? Well, that’s what it’s like in the playoffs. No minute restraints on KG means less defensive rotations missed, better rebounding, etc. Let’s not put so much stock in a regular season in which our starting 5 is not in tact and our defensive MVP has minute restrictions.

            As for the other teams you mentioned, I believe anything can happen in the finals. If we make it that far, I like our chances.

            So honestly, YES, I am looking at this team and considering the possibility of a parade. Right now, I admit, it looks like a pipe dream. But you are sadly mistaken if you’re doubting this team can’t make a run DEEP into the playoffs..

          • KGino

            I hate how skinny these responses get! Haha

          • Drew

            KGino, you had the balls to say something that I am having a hard time admitting. I’d lose interest in this team if Pierce and KG left. I think what really gives me a warm feeling about watching this team is having Pierce, a guy who was drafted by us and rode an emotional roller coaster his entire career to a championship. Maybe Avery Bradley will be able to fill that void one day. But for now, there isn’t a guy I can see giving me that fuzzy feeling I get when I watch this team. If I’m not mistaken, Redslovechild lives in LA. Maybe that’s the reason he hates The Lakers more than most. Trying to be a proud Celtics fan out there might be the most maddening thing I can think of.

          • RedsLoveChild

            I also hate these skinny posts.

            I stand corrected…the Celtics have played 30.5% of the season {not 33%}.

            The Playoffs last year were a bit of a “mirage”.

            Chicago would have been our 2nd round opponent IF Rose did not get injured. For us, that would not have been pretty to watch!

            Even in the unexpected Celtic-Heat ECF…Bosh sits out the first 5 games. Once he returned, MIA won the last two comfortably.

            I know, AB was also injured. Still, it was easier for Boston to replce AB than it was for Moami to replace a “big” like Bosh.

            PP & KG are now a year older. I just don`t see it happening.

          • RedsLoveChild

            Drew,

            You`re getting a little too close to “The Truth”…in more ways than one!

            I did live in LA for over 20 years {no longer do}, and it did escalate my Laker hatred. I witnessed every minute of Magic`s Laker career.

            I love Pierce, too. Always have, always will.

            But, now that we`ve squeezed out every ounce of his hoop talent, would it be so bad if he were to agree to a trade to the team he loved as a kid? Especially if we were to get a productive player {Gasol} in return?

          • Drew

            We are going to have to stop arguing about this. The thought of shipping Pierce to a fan base that wants him dead in return for one of the softest post defenders in the league makes me want to throw this phone at the wall.

    • Mannie

      Haha keep dreaming! The celtics wouldn’t do it after all pierce has done. Kg resigned so he and pierce retire together, as celtics. Some fan you are.

  • o2

    I am sorry but Jason Collins deserves some credit. Dude played his butt off. Nothing in the stat sheet, but great energy and rotations.

    • KWAPT

      Pierce was given the game ball by Doc, and then Pierce in turn gave it to Collins for just that..

    • zippittyay

      Jason did set some nice picks. Makes me wonder if Wicox was not….

  • Jon

    I wouldn’t declear Pierce dead, because of his poor shooting. That would be extreme to call him “finish”. Pierce, 35, is not going to play at a high level nightly.

  • PICTURE PLANET

    I doubt anyone in the Celtics brass or jerseys give a fuck, but I dont either, I dont pull for this team night in and night out because I have to win a championship this year. Every fucking day I get made fun of by Knicks and now Nets fans. Some of you Boston boys need to understand that if your career takes you elsewhere, it becomes way more about winning. The Boston Celtics are a part of my identity and I find bitching about who to trade no better than taking talents to South Beach.

    They beat a shitty team tonight and the Celtics remain mediocre at best and I will concede a Combo guard and some draft picks to make sure we beat the Knicks in the playoffs, but holy fuck am I sick of seeing the pussy assed bitching out of Celtics fans. LETS FUCKING GO.

    • Bball jenky

      Hell yea pp. im riding with you

  • http://greenheadzblog.blogspot.com ChiefGreenHeadz

    Some day…when the games are over and the #34 is already hanging in the rafters, Paul Pierce will get his due as not only one of the greatest Celtics to ever play, but as one of the greatest players to ever wear an NBA uniform. He is beyond underrated and games like last night’s show just how good he has to be to do what he’s doing at his current age against fresh, new legs. In my new blog post “The Truth That Ate Cleveland,” I almost left the game out and devoted the spot to The Captain, almost. You can check it out by clicking my name. Some day…the Hall Calls, Paul….but he’s not ready just yet.

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