THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM IS PIERCE
posted at 1/1/2013 10:31 PM EST
I respect Pierce’s talent completely. He’s been one of the NBA’s stone scorers for years. There have been few like him in his ability to score from anywhere. I get that.
But over these last 4 games he has shot 34%, and averaged 1.75 FTA and 3 REB. The guys he’s been checking have killed him.
And he’s getting a free pass.
I don’t get it, and I’ve not gotten it for years.
As someone who’s followed the Celtics since 1957, I know Celtics history as well as anyone. As someone who has coached up to the professional level overseas, I know basketball at least as well as the average fan.
So I really don’t understand why Pierce is perceived as Mr. Celtic and never gets called out for his own bad play.
He is totally indifferent to his own turnovers and refuses to chase down his own mistakes, instead addictively checking the overhead screen. He gesticulates to teammates after his own mistakes (a pass to Lee’s shoe-tops comes to mind). He takes way too many bad shots. He ends too many isolations by reversing into a double teamer, falling backwards and throwing slow, weak, bail-out passes. He’s at least nonchalant about closing out three-point shooters. He never cuts hard and never gets out ahead of the ball in transition. And if you say you saw him once or twice do that, remember, the exception proves the rule.
When he’s good he says HE was giving the game what it needed; when he’s bad he says WE need to be more consistent, get on the same page, WE need to look in the mirror. What’s with that?
But perhaps most infuriatingly of all, really, is hearing him, Paul Pierce, singular among ALL Celtic luminaries, routinely refer to himself as a “great” player. It just kills me when I know that not a ONE of the numbers in the rafters EVER said that of himself even ONCE. Nor did they ever speak of their jerseys being retired before the announcement had been made. Pierce has done it countless times. He really thinks of himself as a legitimate peer of the great Celtics.
Fact is, he’s won one championship, the same number as Garnett, Allen, and Rondo. And the same number as Davis, T. Allen, Perkins, House, etc. Maybe, if he’d been able to defend James a little better last year, it might have been two. Maybe, if he hadn’t disappeared in game 6 versus Orlando, he’d have been in another final. But he has one championship.
I can almost understand how his own inflated sense of self just cannot take ownership in any of this present mess.
But why has no one else, in the act of pointing fingers at EVERYONE ELSE, pointed one at him, the Captain?