The Captain, and the Truth are both monikers Paul Pierce has obtained during his fifteen-year playing career with the Boston Celtics. If not an amazing basketball pedigree, there is one thing in which he excels that will be extremely beneficial for the 2013-2014 Brooklyn Nets. That is leadership. Paul Pierce has been through it all, he has a championship, a finals MVP and many postseason appearances. Pierce understands postseason success, which can be clearly demonstrated by the Celtics’ last trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2012. Pierce is set to be a huge locker room presence along with Kevin Garnett, and a great role model of professionalism for the Brooklyn Nets. If he can maintain order within the team, they have the potential of being one of the most effective scoring offenses of the Eastern Atlantic Division, if not the best team overall in the entire division.
While Pierce brings the championship mentality, and leadership qualities that make a player well rounded and liked, it’s important to note that he has just as effective as a player then he’s ever been. While his style is not flashy, he is extremely effective as a scorer. Last season on a Celtics team sans Rajon Rondo (ACL injury) and Ray Allen (Miami Heat) it was Pierce’s responsibility to take up the scoring slack. In seventy-seven games played Paul Pierce averaged 18.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists in 33 minutes played trumping sharpshooter shooting guard Joe Johnson’s season averages. It’s evident that the 35 year old veteran who’s played over 1000 games in his NBA career can still get the job done well, and play a large amount of minutes. Excluding the stabbing incident early in his playing career, Pierce has remained relatively healthy, and durable on the court, making him a safe pick for at least 70 games during the regular season. Pierce is also a solid three point shooter, making him an effective wing player. Pierce is also an incredible defender as demonstrated by his numerous postseason games vs LeBron James, and having James himself name him as his biggest rival. Pierce is incredibly consistent in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter as well, gaining him a reputation as one of the most clutch players in the league, and that just makes him another option besides Joe Johnson to close out close games.
How does he fit in Brooklyn’s System?
Let’s be clear the Brooklyn Nets are a completely different team then last year. They have a strong locker room presence with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, veterans surrounding the team with Jason Kidd as the head coach, and Jason Terry as a sharpshooting role player. The Brooklyn Nets now have four people on their squadron with NBA championship. Nevertheless, the pieces that made them a successful team last season are still present. Garnett will help mentor Lopez, and Pierce and Kidd, Williams. Paul Pierce is in the perfect situation for his style of play. With Williams running the point he will find himself open for a many shots, with the inside presence of Lopez, and Garnett Pierce will be subject to many second chance possessions, and will also have opportunities to capitalize on those. In crunch time the pressure will be smaller then what he’s used to in Boston with another clutch player in Joe Johnson. Pierce looks to be Brooklyn’s dagger versus the reigning champs, now that the Celtics/Heat rivalry is no more. Truth be told Brooklyn seems to be the best possible place for Pierce at this point in his career, Paul Pierce is one of the greats, and there is a strong chance he can be the catalyst for the Nets to be the kings of New York, as well as a championship contender this coming November.