We continue to preview the Boston Celtics roster for the 2012-2013 season and today we look at Paul Pierce and his outlook for this upcoming season.
Pierce has been a Celtic for his entire career and will go down as one of the greatest players in team history. Originally drafted by the team in the 1998 NBA Draft out of Kansas, he surprisingly slipped all the way to the Celtics at the number ten pick. It was quite a shock because almost everyone going into the draft considered him a lock to be picked in the top ten. I think deep down, the green were hoping Dirk Nowitzki would be available, but he was scooped up right before by the Dallas Mavericks.
It turned out to be an excellent consolation prize, as Pierce is an absolute first ballot hall of famer. He played on some pretty mediocre teams during his career, but was finally rewarded in 2008 with an NBA Championship.
Every Celtics fan should probably know the scouting report on Pierce by now. A true scorer in every sense of the word, he has an excellent inside and outside game and always seems to get to the spot on the floor where he feels most comfortable. He has improved greatly as an outside shooter and even won the three point shooting contest at the All Star Game a few years ago.
He is one of the best drivers to the rim in the league and is always looking to initiate contact to get to the free throw line. It is no shock to see Pierce in the top ten annually in free throw attempts. He also has one of the greatest go-to moves a player has had in recent memory.
He usually receives the ball at the top of the key and goes either right or left, typically right. He dribbles the ball to the free throw line, freezes the defender and then steps back for a fade away jump shot. This is a move he uses in particular for game-winning baskets.
Pierce is also a great defensive player and typically guards the opponent’s best shooting guard or small forward. He is an extremely durable player and has the strength and speed combination to stay with Lebron James and Kevin Durant. He is also a terrific locker room influence and leads by example. Overall, he is as pure of a scorer as you will find, but he also does so many other things to help a team win a basketball game.
There really are not many weaknesses to speak of when you analyze a hall of fame player. Pierce really does everything well. He is a great ball handler and does everything else that a coach would look for in his star player.
Pierce will continue his role as a leader and captain for the team this season. Head coach Doc Rivers will certainly look to limit his minutes during the season to make sure he is fresh. He suffered a sprained MCL injury in last year’s playoffs and it clearly negatively impacted him during the second season. That would appear to be the only question mark for him this season, but all recent reports suggest that he should be fine and good to go for the start of the season.
Pierce is the heart and soul of the Boston Celtics organization and no doubt will lead them on their next quest for another NBA Championship.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news, check out the Boston Celtics homepage on Rant Sports. Follow him on twitter at @rlunder18