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Paul Pierce, still crafty after all these years

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Paul Pierce is THAT guy you run into on the pickup courts from time to time that doesn't look like a baller.

Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

Forgive me if you've heard this analogy from me before, but it fits so well I can't help but re-use it. Paul Pierce is THAT guy you run into on the pickup courts from time to time that doesn't look like a baller. He might be too old or too awkward or whatever, but he doesn't seem to fit the part of a great player. Yet he goes out and drops half his team's points on you and you walk off the court wondering how he did it.

Paul Pierce still pilots the Boston Celtics in the clutch - ESPN Boston

"Pierce is one of the more crafty guys in this league," Thunder coach Scotty Brooks said. "You don't think he can get around you, but he gets around you. You don't think he can get the shot off, but he gets it off."

When Pierce was told that Brooks had termed him crafty, he smiled knowingly. Crafty is one of those code words for "old." "I've been doing this a long time," Pierce said. "I've never been the most athletic guy, but I've used my footwork and hesitation moves and my pump fakes really well through the years over younger, quicker guys." The younger, quicker guys left Boston disappointed on Friday. The older, slower guy shot 8-of-16 from the floor, 7-of-7 from the line, and 4-of-6 from the 3-point arc.

The above quotes come from the always must-read MacMullan article - so check that out.

If anything, Paul's craftiness is allowing him to excel longer than most because he's always played this way and he doesn't have to rely on his legs to do all the work for him. He's like the Hakeem Olajuwon of small forwards. He's got more moves than a salsa dancer and you never know what he's going to use next.

It is also funny to watch a team that features Pierce and Rondo, who has his own crafty, non-conformist style of play. As long as they win, it will continue to be (to quote Woody Harrelson in White Men Can't Jump) "SO pretty."