Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Player of the Weak

Okay, so Paul Pierce has a good month and suddenly everyone wants to pretend that he’s untradeable, that the Celtics are on the rise, and that number 17 is suddenly in reach. More importantly, that somehow CelticsDoom have erred in our criticism and Pierce has shown us up. Alright, just calm the fuck down.

As anyone who reads this blog and cares to differentiate between the opinions of the two authors knows, I am not a Pierce hater. My beef with PP this year (and last) is that he doesn’t consistently hit open jump shots and he has a bad habit of forcing his offense during crunch time. My position on trading him has also been clear – we probably aren’t going to have the talent level to realistically compete for a championship until Pierce is past his prime, so if we can move him now for a young potential superstar (Deng, Heinrich, etc) and some cap relief, it would probably make sense.

On the other hand, Pierce is a tough dude who hates to lose and when playing inspired ball, actually comes close to justifying his repeated claims about being a “top 10 player” in the league. Not to mention that he’s the Celtics’ best rebounder and an adequate draw for filling seats in the Fleet Center. He’s not the anti-Christ, but he’s not Larry Bird either. He’s a very good NBA player who would ideally thrive in a situation where he was one of two dominant players (preferably a great point guard) and not required to be a “leader” in the Grant Hill or Lebron James way. On the other hand, he’s not even close to the kind of guy you build a championship franchise around.

So those who are wetting themselves about Pierce’s sudden resurgence and the supposed righting of the Celtics ship should ask themselves, “where are we as a team?” The sad answer is that these people are celebrating two fairly minor things 1) Reaching .500 and 2) Our star player/max-contract-guy finally putting together a string of about eight good games. Wow.

I like Paul Pierce and I wish he was could fill the “great Celtic” role last played by Reggie Lewis, but he really isn’t. Making the all-star team is a great personal accomplishment and if he continues on this tear, we might even make some noise in the playoffs. But winning a championship is at best five-years away, and sadly Pierce’s most important contribution to #17 may be the players he can bring us in a trade. Remember, it’s not the name on the back of the shirt, it’s the name on the front.

PS: Sorry for the long delay for new material on the blog. PO has been sick and I have been busy as fuck with work and some other shit. The game recaps are kind of pointless anyway during the wins, you can get more detailed ones at Celticsblog. I figure you don’t need me saying “great win by the Celtics” anyway.

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