A recap of Paul Pierce’s historic Celtic career

Very few basketball players get to experience what Paul Pierce did Sunday night. He got to watch as his number 34 get hoisted into the rafters at TD Garden in Boston Massachusetts. A finals champion, A finals MVP and a 10 time Allstar, Paul Pierce stayed through the good and the bad with the Boston Celtics.

Now he gets to put his name in the same category with names like Larry Bird, Bill Russell and Robert Parish. Here’s a look back on his fifteen seasons with the Boston Celtics and why he is one of the Celtic greats.

Background:

Paul Pierce was the Celtics 10th overall pick in 1998. He is a 6-foot-7 small forward, drafted out of Kansas. Pierce spent 15 seasons with the Boston Celtics before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets.

Pierce received Big 12 MVP his sophomore season at Kansas. He has his High School, College and now NBA jersey all retired.

He trails only John Havlicek on the Boston Celtics All-time scoring list.

He played alongside stars like Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Antoine Walker and Shaquille O’Neal. Pierce holds the Celtics’ record for most three-point field goals made and also ranks third in team history in games played, second in points scored, seventh in total rebounds, fifth in total assists and first in total steals.

He is fifth in NBA history for total three pointers made behind: Reggie Miller, Kyle Korver and former teammates Jason Terry and Ray Allen.

The Stats:

Paul Pierce, (Photo by NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images).

In Paul’s 15 year Celtic career he never averaged under 16.5 points per game. That 16.5 campaign came in his rookie season where he shot 44 percent from the field and 41 percent from three.

The Celtics made the playoffs in 10 of the 15 seasons that Paul was in the white and green. His Celtics career regular season statistics read as 21.8 points per game, 6.0 rebounds per game and 3.9 assists per game. His player efficiency rating was 20.6 on average throughout his Celtic career.

Pierce played in 1,102 regular season game and scored 2,4021 points in those games. He shot 44.7 percent from the field, 37 percent from three and 80.6 percent from the free throw line over those 1,102 games.

He was never held scoreless in TD Garden (including the games he later played as a visitor). A statistic called wins shared shows that Paul Pierce contributed over 138 wins himself in his time.

In his Celtics career the Celtics were on average +6.8 points per season when Paul Pierce was on the floor versus when he was off it. He scored 2,843 points in the playoffs averaging 20.9 points per game. In the Celtics 2008 banner year he averaged 21 points and shot 44 percent.

The Captain and the Truth:

What makes Paul Pierce so special is that he stayed with the Celtics. He is different because unlike players today that want to leave the team that they were drafted from, he rode with the good and the bad. He spent 15 years in Boston and barring a trade would have probably spent his whole career there.

Paul Pierce is one of the greatest Boston Celtics ever, and now after all the box scores and statistics have closed it is time to say it. A sure Hall of Famer has finally left his mark on the NBA and has left behind one of if not the greatest Celtic resume of all-time.

Paul Pierce will go on New England sports fans mount rushmore. He will sit up their with Tom Brady, David Ortiz and Patrice Bergeron from their perspective sports. The thing that Paul did for the city of Boston was never make excuses. His teams would change year in and year out. Some of his teams were less than spectacular, but at the end of the day he wanted to win, and he did everything in his power to do so for the Boston Celtics.

Pierces’ level of consistency and his dedication led him to a night of being honored for his achievements. A man best remembered for his pull up buzzer beaters or his 41 point performance to beat LeBron in the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals has finally cemented himself as a Boston Celtic legend, and that is the Truth.

 

Featured image from Bleacher Report.

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“From Our Haus to Yours”

Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers: Overrated

The NBA playoffs are leaving basketball fans bored. Aside from the hype surrounding the Warriors’ and Cavaliers’ third-straight finals matchup, there isn’t much going on to talk about. There is one hot topic most are afraid to admit that needs to be brought to light.

There is always an argument that when a team is good, or bad, the reason is the players or the coaches, and of course, it usually is a combination of both.

Doc Rivers won a title due to the future Hall of Famers he was coaching. Aside from those players he had in Boston, for most accounts, he has been average at best as an NBA coach yet people will constantly list him as a top tier coach.

Doc Rivers is the most overrated coach in the NBA.

Orlando Magic

Doc Rivers Overrated

(Photo Credit: http://www.celticslife.com)

Doc Rivers’ head coaching career started in Orlando. While the head coach of the Magic, Rivers had an overall record of 171-168. That is just a 50.4 winning percentage. In the playoffs with Orlando, he went 5-10, which is far from impressive.

Rivers had some really great players while in Orlando too. Players by the name of Tracy McGrady, Ben Wallace, Mike Miller, Grant Hill, Patrick Ewing, Horace Grant and Shawn Kemp. Wallace, Miller and Grant were all eventual champions. A few players on this list are even Hall of Famers.

To be fair, McGrady, Wallace and Miller were relatively young. Ewing, Grant and Kemp were at the very end of their careers. He also had to deal with these players getting injured frequently.

Even so, he finished only three games above .500 in the regular season with Orlando. There was no postseason success and in 2003, he was fired after a 1-10 start. His lack of success in both the regular season and playoffs with Orlando would force him to sit out of coaching until Boston came calling.

Boston celtics

Doc Rivers Overrated

(Photo Credit: https://www.vavel.com)

Doc Rivers had the most success as a coach in Boston. Rivers amassed 416 wins with the Celtics. He also lost 305 games making his win percentage in Boston 57.7 percent. That percentage dropped to 55.7 in the playoffs with the Celtics as he went 59-47.

Until the Celtics acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to pair with Paul Pierce, many called for Rivers to be fired. All three of these core players will be in the Hall of Fame one day and that is the reason Rivers was able to lead the Celtics to two Finals appearances, capturing one championship.

Without this caliber of players, Rivers is just an average coach at best and even then he doesn’t win 60 percent of the games he coaches.

He also left Boston when it was time for a rebuild. Doc Rivers didn’t want to put in the work with young players and develop the team into a winner. He was looking for a team with star players to make his job as easy as possible which is why he waited for what he felt was the perfect opportunity.

Los Angeles Clippers

Doc Rivers Overrated

(Photo Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/doc-rivers/)

Rivers’ ideal spot was with the Los Angeles Clippers after leaving Boston. Now, some may argue he was traded to L.A. and it wasn’t his choice but the trade was just so the Celtics could receive something in return because he truly loved the city and the organization. He had every intention of forcing his way to the Clippers.

Why would Doc Rivers want to go to a franchise that had only nine playoff appearances since 1970 and has never made it to a conference finals? The answer to that is a roster loaded with talent.

Their current core of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan was already there. The roster also included the following: Eric Bledsoe, Chauncey Billups (five-time All-Star, Finals MVP, and NBA champion), Jamal Crawford (three-time Sixth Man of the Year), Caron Butler (two-time All-Star), Grant Hill (seven-time All-Star) and Lamar Odom (Sixth Man of the Year and two-time NBA Champion).

They were very deep and experienced before Rivers arrived. Vinny Del Negro led the Clippers to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons prior to Rivers arriving. Del Negro was taking the Clippers just as far as Doc has. He went 128-102 which was a winning percentage of 55.7 percent and can’t even find a job.

While Rivers has been in L.A., he has gone 217-111 in the regular season. He has underachieved in the playoffs going 18-22 with a team many considered one of the most talented in the NBA. The Clippers are the first team to blow series in five straight playoffs under Rivers. He isn’t succeeding because he is overrated and isn’t a top tier coach.

What This Means For the Los Angeles Clippers

Overall in Doc Rivers’ career, he is 804-584. His winning percentage is 57.9 and ranks ninth among active NBA coaches and 41st all-time. Despite having rosters constantly loaded with All-Stars, Hall of Fame caliber players, and in some cases, champions, he can’t win more than 58 percent of his games.

In the playoffs, he gets worse. He is 82-79 all-time, winning just 50.9 percent of the games he coaches. That is ninth among active coaches and 38th all-time.

Everyone wants to know why the Clippers can’t get over the hump. After another disappointing season, questions rose on what they should do with the roster and the core of the team.

The answer is rather simple. Doc Rivers is average at best and that is why the Clippers continue to remain average. The Clippers don’t have to blow up their roster yet, they just need a better coach.

 

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“From Our Haus to Yours”

Kevin Durant Doesn’t Like Competition

Courtesy of Sporting News.com

Courtesy of Sporting News.com

July 4th is known worldwide as America’s Independence Day. But, now there is another reason to remember July 4th. It is now the day rivalries and competitiveness left the NBA.

First off, I understand, from a pure on the court basketball reason, why Durant would want to go to Golden State. It’s the easy way out and they are the closest team to another NBA Championship. He wants to win a championship and he didn’t think he could win in Oklahoma City. But at what cost? This is the same Durant that basically called out LeBron James for leaving the Cavs eight days after The Decision. And some people will try and draw comparison to Durant’s decision to go to Golden State and LeBron going to the Heat, but it is not the same thing.

In the Summer of 2010, LeBron James was the free agent of the summer. James chose to go to the Miami Heat, a team he had no rivalry with and had never played in the postseason as a Cavalier.

When LeBron went to Miami, there were only two players still on the Miami roster from their previous championship in 2005, Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem. Pat Riley was not head coach anymore. The head coach was Erik Spoelstra, an assistant coach on the 2005 Miami Heat. And coming into the 2010 season, on paper, the Miami Heat were the favorites to win the championship. Going into that season there were only three players players on the Miami Heat roster that had NBA Finals experience, Wade, Haslem and James. And we all know what happened in the 2011 NBA Finals. LeBron James had a poor NBA Finals and the Heat lost the championship. Now let’s try and compare Durant’s decision to LeBron’s decision.

In the Summer of 2016, Kevin Durant was the free agent of the summer. As of July 4th, he chose to go to the Golden State. A team he just lost to in the Western Conference Finals in a Game 7 when he and the Oklahoma City Thunder gave up a 3-1 lead. His team also has a well-documented rivalry with the Golden State Warriors, but it looks like he is going to be a Warrior next year. On the roster, as of July 4th, the Warriors have 13 players on the roster with NBA Finals experience.

Let’s not forget that the in four seasons (2005-2010) between NBA Finals appearance for the Miami Heat they could not get out of the first round. And in the 2007, the Heat were not even in the playoffs, so they were declining team in the East. While these Warriors, without Durant, are one of the best teams in the NBA. Durant also walks into a team with a coach that is the reigning Coach of the Year, Steve Kerr, who also has a NBA Championship ring as a head coach.

There is no comparison in their moves. LeBron went to the Heat with many unknowns, while Durant is going to a team that just won 73 wins, second to none in the regular season. Now if LeBron had gone to the Pistons, Spurs, or Celtics in the Summer of 2010, I could see the comparison but he didn’t. Just think about LeBron in one of those three jerseys. Many people would call that act very cowardly. Many people called his move to Miami cowardly, which is wrong.

Let’s go back in history and try to imagine Michael Jordan in a Detroit Pistons jersey, you can’t. LeBron went to Miami to win a championship and beat the Boston Celtics because they were in his way. He saw Boston’s Big Three (Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce) and he wanted to match that. And when Durant goes to the Warriors, he will at least have one NBA Finals win. LeBron didn’t even have that when he went to Miami. This move reminds me more of Shaq and Penny Hardaway in the 90s. Durant playing Shaq’s role and Russell Westbrook playing the role of Penny Hardaway.

Courtesy of @KDTrey5

Courtesy of @KDTrey5

And on July 4th, 2016, Kevin Durant broke up one of the only real basketball rivalries in the NBA today. Now everybody wanna play of the Warriors? Let’s go back to being competitive and going at these peoples!

One word to describe KD’s decision: Weak.