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.
He’s averaging 18.7 points, 6.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds – so again, he’s done a lot more than nothing. But he’s also 2-16 from 3-point range with 16 turnovers, some coming when Iman Shumpert apparently decides: Well, I think it’d be cool to just take the basketball straight out of Pierce’s hands right now.
Pierce can’t slow down Carmelo Anthony, can’t take advantage of Raymond Felton, and can’t help the Boston Celtics as they stagger toward completing one of the worst offensive series of all-time. The Celtics are down 3-0, one loss away from broomsticks, which would be the team’s initial first-round exit of the Kevin Garnett era. The last time Boston was swept, by the Indiana Pacers in 2003-04, Pierce started alongside Jiri Welsch, Walter McCarty, Chucky Atkins and Mark Blount.
“Definitely surprised,” he said Friday night after posting 17 points, five assists, four rebounds and five turnovers in a 90-76 Game 3 loss. “I thought we were a team that matched up well with the Knicks, I thought we played them pretty good throughout the season. We lost a couple close ones, but I didn’t expect us – coming in, I knew this would probably be a long series, being that the way we matched up. I really am surprised that we are down 0-3 right now.”
It’s damn near criminal to blame the Celtics’ disastrous performance vs the Knicks on Paul Pierce, but… he’s been so mediocre (and that’s a kind adjective) in this series.
To be fair, the Knicks are attacking Pierce with reckless abandon because they have little fear or respect for anyone else wearing green and white (Kevin Garnett excluded).
What we’re seeing is the perfect storm of the Knicks being a better team and the Celtics playing at their nadir. Pierce is simply the poster child for this mess.
I’m not ready to speculate about next season. And it’s not because I think this team can pull off the greatest comeback in the history of the NBA playoffs. However, I am curious about the postgame conversation the Big 3 had in the showers:
Let’s be honest, there’s no getting out of it. Anyone who’s watched even part of this series knows it. Pierce, Kevin Garnett and rehabbing Rondo probably know it, too. That’s why the trio huddled up for a long powwow in the showers inside the team’s locker room after Friday’s game.
Do you think it had anything to do with next season?
The rest of the links:
Herald – Celtics out of answers | It’s bad to hearse | Down for the count | Time eventually wins | Garnett comes alive with double double | Globe – Poor playoff results despite great expectations | Pierce’s struggles continue | Smith gets called for Flagrant 2 | Security heavy for Game 3 | Mass Live – Doc gushes about KG’s competitiveness | CSNNE – Green: C’s still have a chance | Terry’s start was to take pressure off Bradley | Knicks explain success vs Celtics | ESPN Boston – Smith’s flagrant riles up Cs | Pierce irked by lost opps |