Monday, May 4, 2009

RIP Paul Pierce

No Paul Pierce didn't actually die, well not physically, but his career certainly did after that grueling 7 game series with the Chicago Bulls.  

Pierce and the Celtics battled the Bulls for 7 straight games going into overtime on 3 occasions including a triple overtime game 6.  Pierce himself played over 50 minutes three times in the series and broke the 40 minute mark 6 times equalling 312 minutes of basketball played. 

I think it was about 10 minutes into game 1 that Pierce officially dropped dead on the floor probably around the time John Salmons was blowing by him like he was a pylon.  Or maybe it was when he started running up and down the floor with his head back and his elbows tucked in like a senior citizen puffing wind after racing to the can in the middle of the night.

Either way you look at it Paul Pierce has ceased to be "the Truth" and has now become "the corpse."

Not only can he not run the floor or defend scrubs but he can no longer be trusted to hit game winning shots or even to make free throws.  At the end of game 4 Pierce had a chance to win the game if he could hit 2 free throws.  What happened?  He bricked the first one and was forced to hit the second to send the game to OT.  Then in the 2nd overtime Pierce has his lousy attempt at a fadeaway blocked by Salmons.

Finally the worst play of not only the series, or the playoffs, but Pierce's career was when he had the ball stripped by Jaokim Noah and then proceeded to foul him on the defensive end when he already had 5 fouls!  So a recap of the play: has ball stolen, can't outrun Noah, fouls when he has 5,  and doesn't foul hard enough to disrupt the dunk and it's an And 1.  Worst play I have seen in a long time and was something I would expect from maybe Andrea Bargnani.

The sad thing is that Pierce is only a year removed from being the NBA Finals MVP where he was a beast for the whole series and playoffs.  He played high pressure defense and scored at will hitting big shot after big shot.  Now he can't defend John Salmons or Ben Gordon for a possession and clanks 15 footers like it's his job.

Going into the playoffs people were asking the question could Pierce guard LeBron James for 7 games straight.  Now we have our answer as after seeing his weak defensive performance against the Bulls I wouldn't put money on Pierce guarding LeBron for 7 minutes.

The Celtics narrowly got past the Bulls and Pierce was hardly a factor as his series high was 29 points in over 50 minutes in game 4.  For the series he shot 42.7% which is only .5% higher than teammate Brian Scalabrine and his 33% 3-point shooting percentage is dragging down the team average.

It is sad to watch a great player slowly die in front on you and in front of a national audience but that is what happened to Paul Pierce.  He went from being the guy who the Celtics could count on to win games and shut down opposing superstars to a offensive and defensive liability.  He is still getting his points but don't let the stats fool you.  Watch one game and see for yourself.

In all seriousness though someone link me a picture of Paul Pierce holding today's newspaper to prove to me he still has a pulse.

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