Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Player Previews - Pierce

As the cast of characters known as the 2005-2006 Boston Celtics take the floor for the start of training camp, expectations set by most right-thinking fans regarding the prospects of immediate success are low.

Over the next few days, Dr. Chestnut and I will momentarily shed our doom tendencies to realistically set best case scenarios for each Celtic likely to be on the roster or in the D-League. Don’t expect these to be inane celtsblog expectations, rather, credible projections should everything go right for that player. We will call these scenarios Sugar Free Kool-Aid.

With that, we will chart worst case scenarios for each player, simply to be called Blount (2004-2005) scenario. Lastly, Dr. Chestnut and I will make Doom predictions. Four key players, Pierce, AJ, West & Davis, will be profiled in this manner the next four days, with the remainder of the roster next week.

Paul Pierce

Sugar Free Kool-Aid:
Pierce is embarrassed (not for the right reasons). He saw his trade value plummet, his local and national reputation soiled, and his face supplanted on various Celtic merchandise as the owner/press flirt with a goofy fan favorite. While not “buying” into the system so to speak, Pierce plays good soldier by not only saying all the right things, but also doing all the right things on the court. He realizes that his words no longer hold meaning with a skeptical fan base.

Pierce fully commits his game to running and motion offense. He plays less, shoots less and passes more. After three years of declining accuracy with his jumper, Pierce finds his shot again after realizing that ball movement creates open looks – which is easier than driving through three guys to get to the foul line. While not offering anything remotely resembling leadership, he supports those who do. He accepts his role as Ricky increasingly becomes the go-to-guy in the fourth quarter.
Stats: 32 mpg, 18.5, 7, 5, 45% from field, 40% from three

Blount (2004-2005)
Pierce chafes under the year-old “new” system. He walks up the court, dominates the ball in the half-court offense, forces drives to the basket because his jumper is gone and openly fights with teammates, opponents and the coaching staff resulting in some high profile incidents. He is spiteful to those teammates who replace him as the face of the franchise. He loses his cool during an important game, gets kicked out, undresses and waves his shirt defiantly at a hostile crowd and has a circus press conference defending his idiotic actions (oops). He demands a trade after a month of sulking and whining. He accepts a lesser role on a better team and excels.
Stats: On C’s, 36 mpg, 19.5, 8, 4, 39% from field, 28% from three
On Denver, 30 mpg, 15.5 ppg, 4,4, 46% from field, 42% from three

Doom Prediction
Paul Pierce will not change his attitude, one based on a sense of entitlement, that of a Paul-Star veteran. Paul Pierce is very likely to change the perception of his attitude. Having skated by with platitudes about team, number 17, and the enthusiasm for the young guys for two years, Pierce takes it a step further by altering his on-court behavior and body language for the better. When the cameras aren’t on, he is as big a prick as ever.

While not fully embracing the style of play Danny and Doc have prescribed, he puts up very good numbers much like the second half of last season. The ball still goes through him on every possession, and he still blows it at the end of games by forcing a bad shot or drive. He will enhance his reputation and seek a trade in the middle of the season.
Stats: On C’s, 35mpg, 21, 6, 4, 44% from field, 35% from three

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