Somehow Paul Pierce still flies under the radar.
Despite all of clutch playoff performances, it's possible to preview the 2008-09 Boston Celtics without paying much attention to Paul Pierce.
Almost every Celtics' fan remembers Boston's first round series against Philadephia in the 2002 NBA playoffs, when Pierce averaged 30.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.8 steals, and went for 46 points in a decisive Game 5. Nearly ever Celtics' fan remembers the Celtics amazing comeback in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against New Jersey Nets, when Pierce scored 21 of his game-high 28 points in the second half, 19 of which came in the fourth quarter. And, of course, everyone remembers the 2008 playoffs, when Pierce out-dueled LeBron and Kobe on his way to winning the NBA championship and Finals MVP.
But when we get around to talking about the 2008-09 Boston Celtics, Paul Pierce is mentioned almost as an afterthought. Oh yeah, the Celtics have that Pierce guy, too. This was the approach taken by NBA.com in the video I posted last week. But then they made amends as they closed out their season preview.
"Paul Pierce may not be as good as Kobe and LeBron on a consistent basis," they said, "but in the 4th quarter, during crunch time, when it counts, he's every bit as good as Kobe and LeBron."
Amen to that.