Robert Littal Presents The Infamous BlackSportsOnline: Paul Pierce Archives

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Whether you're getting ready to watch the NBA Finals tonight or still lamenting that Cleveland or Denver should really be there...Kevin Garnett is far ahead of this year's Finals and talking about next season. It's one thing to be confident. To be as good as KG has been, you have to be confident, arrogant even.

But when a big man comes off a huge knee surgery successfully, I don't know how good of an idea it is to go ahead and guarantee the 'ship for the Boston Celtics next season. And the next season. That's some definite confidence. Maybe I'm being too critical, maybe I'm not....but, really? Did he he see his team in the Playoffs this year? Yes, there was good. But oh boy, was there bad.

I think KG may need to slow his role, or maybe even just look at his team and what's going on in the Eastern Conference.

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Goodness, it feels like the playoffs have been going on for months. Thirteen days to be exact. But wow, some of these series just kept going. In a perfect world, every series would have been a best-of-five, but the Bulls-Celtics series would be a best-of-seventeen. And I think we'd still be going into over-time every night.

The first round is ALMOST done, but we've already seen some things that have opened some eyes. The Rockets finally won a series! the 76ers have some kick to them. The Hornets are a disgrace to basketball, and quit on a good man. Byron Scott will be fired this summer because nobody on that team listens to him. Lebron is a beast. The Detroit Pistons are desolate (at least they have hockey). Tim Duncan lost his first ever first round series. Jerry Sloan might finally say goodbye to the NBA. Jason Kidd in Dallas worked out after-all. The Nuggets are scary. Brandon Roy is a top five guard in the NBA. Dwayne Wade is a G. So is Ray Allen. Oh, and Rondo was the first player to drop 19 assists and no turnovers since Norm Nixon...and they still lost. And the list goes on.

But let's take a look at some pretty interesting themes revolving the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

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Yes, it's true. The Chicago-Boston first round series has been one of many revelations. We have seen how easily a Championship team can fall when missing it's best player. We have seen players, whom we thought were at one point irrelevant, step up and show their worth - on both teams. We have seen young players literally evolve into superstars overnight.

We have seen Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo ignite themselves into the top point guard discussion. Some are even saying this is the Chris Paul-Deron Williams match up on the Eastern Conference. Hmm...I think both of these point guards would show up on a do-or-die game at home. So maybe the discussion isn't precise, but it's close. These two are going to be good.

But with all the physical beating both teams are taking, and all the shoves that are being thrown..the question is, is this series fixed?

Some people in Boston think so.

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Let me say this first, as to not spark any outlandish comments (Actually, I still probably will). I am not a Boston Celtics fan, largely in part because I am a Laker fan. That's already a given. But I am an addict of basketball and furthermore, a respect anybody that has a gift, regardless of who it is. Tim Duncan? Sure, he doesn't smile and has only showed emotion once in his entire NBA career, but his game is pure; I recognize that. Karl Malone? I didn't like him much either, but his jumpshot and post game were unstoppable, and will forever be remembered for that.

Paul Pierce...yeah, I don't know what to say. He can make a jumpshot, he can get to hole, but it sure isn't pretty. When you look at his career stats, he's a top guard in the league, averaging just over 22 points eleven year career, has a bunch of All-Star nods, and yes, that championship ring and that Bill Russell MVP of the NBA Finals Trophy.

Towards the end of the season, as Garnett was out due to injury, and Ray Allen took the rest of the year off, Pierce held it down. He was throwing himself into MVP talk because he was a man playing out of his mind. And that, I respected. A player putting the team on his own back and carrying him, that's what somebody like him is supposed to do. But then when you really think about that, isn't that what is expected of him? This is his team, and KG and Ray Ray came here to help him. He should've been doing it in the first place. And when you start the playoffs, already struggling a bit and being hit with a whole bunch of bad news (Garnett and Ainge's heart attack), you expect a leader to come out and shine.

And really...all I can think about was what he said last summer.

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There are 30 teams in the NBA, but every year, there are only a number of teams that are considered playoff teams, and of those 16-18 playoff teams, there are only a few teams that are considered contenders. And in all honesty, it seems like that number is too small. I don't care how die-hard of a Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago or Dallas fan you are...your team is not going to make the NBA Finals. If you're lucky, these teams might make a little bit of noise, but that's about it.

For teams in building mode like Charlotte, Oklahoma City, Memphis and Minnesota, they understand they aren't at that level yet, and only aspire to reach that level. Minnesota, you may remember was at that level for about a year and a half.

An avid watcher of the NBA for over a decade, I have seen amazing teams come and go, dynasties built and dismantled and through it all, all these teams go through a window... and typically, it's not very big. And with the season officially over, and playoffs starting this weekend...allow me to explain.

Round 1 was last June. Round 1 was murder. No, it was worse than murder, it was utter annihilation. No worse, it was a precise and chiseled model destruction.

Round 2 started Christmas Day, with a little bit of revenge; I suppose you could say. But on June 17, 2008, in Boston, Massachusetts, the Boston Celtics beat the Lakers by approximately 18,663 points. (39 points victory + 1 point for every fan in attendance of that game - I simply don't think 39 points can describe the amount of beating the Celtics put on the Lakers the whole series.)

And here we are... back in Boston. Without Andrew Bynum, and the Lakers definitely hoping that Kevin Garnett decides to play with the flu come Thursday evening (Can somebody tell me why KG refused to take his flu shot during training camp?).

While it is only a regular season game in Boston tonight, this game might be the most watched game this season. And for only one real reason.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Paul Pierce category.

Pacman Jones is the previous category.

Peyton Manning is the next category.

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