Paul Pierce is a scorer. One of the best ever to wear a Celtics uniform. Today he only finished with 9 points. So you might be tempted to say that he didn't play well. Not so fast.
But that doesn't mean he didn't have an impact. Pierce played solid defense and was tied for a game-high with four steals, and he also made a few clutch baskets down the stretch, as he continued to display that he can contribute in other ways in the Celtics' 95-91 win over the Bulls at TD Garden. Pierce's biggest impact came on the defensive end, where he virtually shut down Luol Deng (10 points, five rebounds in 42:43), who is making his first All-Star appearance this year. In the last meeting with the Celtics, Deng dominated Pierce and company, putting up 21 points while grabbing 16 rebounds in a Bulls win at TD Garden. "You've really got to focus in on him," Pierce said. "He's an All-Star this year, and you know with Derrick Rose being out, I really just wanted to make a conscious effort of just slowing him down, doing what I can to keep a body on him, keeping him off the offensive rebounds. Just for the most part, you have to slow him down with the lineup they have out there, you give yourself a great chance of winning tonight."
Sounds like a guy leading by example. Would you expect any less?
(Don't worry, I'll write about Rondo soon)