Monday, January 31, 2005


PP Playing Better, But Still Sucks

I am back from my brief sabbatical during which I worked on my novel about a guy who gets very sick and is stuck in a house during the dead of winter with his equally sick wife and fever stricken 18 month old son. I had to scrap the project after realizing that the storyline closely matched that of another famous book, and that I actually hadn’t written much, just 500 pages of ALL THUMBS AND NO REBOUNDS MAKES BLOUNT A BAD CENTER.

I see Pierce has recently put on a relative happy face, relative to his usual scowl. Don’t be fooled. This has the distinct feeling of a guy trying to improve his trade stock so he can go to a winner. Even with this ‘improved attitude,’ he still comes up with quotes such as this gem:

``I'm not a rookie,'' he said. ``I'm a proven all-star."

He followed that up by saying all the right things about getting others involved. Too late prick, we’re on to you. In terms of his play, even I concede that he has been playing much better lately. But how low is the bar now for this proven all-star?

While shooting an admirable 44.5% this month, he’s still missing open shots, particularly from the arc where he’s a miserable 26% this month. That makes him 31% from three this year (an actual improvement in percentage than last year, when he had the green light from basically 40 feet). Consider that a number of those shots are wide-open in an offensive system that does not rely on the three. One could make the argument that PP’s miserable three point shooting the last couple of years stemmed from the coaching staff encouraging him to shot without conscience. What’s the excuse now?

Of NBA 2 guards (ESPN considers Paul a SG), PP ranks 18th in shooting this year. He is 43rd in shooting percentage from the three-point line this year. 43. There are 42 shooting guards who shoot the three better than the Celtic’s starting SG. On the bright side, PP is just out of the top ten in one statistical category - turnovers (13th, 3.0 a game).

So you see, even while playing generally well, Pierce still falls well short of what should be considered a ‘proven all-star.’

On to the positive. Even in my drug-induced state, I could barely contain my glee when Perk started knocking people around on Sat night. Of course, Perk cannot, and should not, foul for the sake of sending a message - but teams have been scoring with absolute impunity inside all fucking year. Look at our front line. Blount is barely alive, Big Al is all finesse, Raef and Gugs look like they help people with their taxes, and Walter is a stain on the entire Celtic organization. But Perk baby, Perk can knock you on your ass! It’s nice to see a little toughness inside, we need more of it.

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