I can sort of deal with Ray Allen getting hurt and Kevin Garnett playing like he's got led weights in his Antas, but the hardest part of watching the first few games of the year has been seeing Paul Pierce look pedestrian. That's my Captain out there. Thankfully, he looked a lot more like The Truth yesterday.
All things considered, we had yet to see the Paul Pierce that we’ve grown accustomed to watching over the years. He appeared hesitant handling the ball, and like the rest of the Celtics, he’s had major difficulty scoring inside where his percentages at the rim have gone from 70 to 54 percent. But against the Wizards — and yes, the Wizards are a bad defensive team — Pierce found his groove and all of his trademark moves were on display. He found his sweet spot, going 4-for-4 on elbow jumpers from the left side of the court. He worked the right-hand side for a pair of 3-pointers and another 20-footer. He also got to the free throw line 15 times and made 12 of his shots.
Pierce's game has never been predicated on athleticism, but he does need some degree of lift and speed to get to his spots. Here's hoping he's in shape and ready to contribute for the rest of the season (and won't be slowed down by too much nagging pain in that heel).
"I guess Paul’s in shape," coach Doc Rivers said jokingly. "We talked about it before the game. You could see it coming. I didn’t see it coming today already, but it was great."
Oh yeah, and silly trade ideas aside, please don't trade Paul Pierce.