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Paul Pierce hasn't lost his shooter's edge


Ben Couch uses the NBA's shot charts to assess just how well Paul Pierce shot last year and for him, there's little doubt, there's a lot of "The Truth" in packaging. Couch reports that Pierce is still way above the league average in areas he's dominated over the course of his career in Boston ... and that includes what he's best known for, clutch shooting.

Among this points...

--Pierce shot best around the free-throw line, connecting on .511 of his 90 attempts, 9.5 percent better than league average. He also shot at least 6.9 percent better than average on the far left baseline (8-22, .478; +6.9%), the right block (25-54, .463; +7.8%); the far right baseline (13-25, .520; 11.4%) and top-of-the-key threes (29-70, .414; +7.1%).

--His shot distribution is markedly balanced, with the only disparity a 40 attempt differential between his favored right wing (70 FGAs) and the left (30 FGAs).

--Pierce and the opposition knew what was coming, but The Truth was: Outside three-point range, it didn't matter. Pierce paced the league's finishers (min. 50 FGAs) with a staggering 12-of-24 performance from long range.

--He remains a net positive on defense as well as offense. In 77 games for the Celtics, Pierce shot .436 from the floor, including .380 from three-point range. Boston scored 103.1 points per 100 possessions with Pierce on the floor, against 99.6 allowed (Net Rating: +3.5).

Among the negatives, don't expect much production when he's out the right wing, shooting just 22-of-70 (.314), a mark 8.6 percent below league average.

As we've noted, Pierce had three triple-doubles last season, including a 27-14-14 performance in overtime vs. Denver in late February. That's the most triple doubles he had since 2003. In late March, he had a three-game stretch (over five days) where he averaged 21 points, 11.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists. He also had back-to-back games of 35 and 40 in December. He grabbed 20 rebounds and handed out 10 assists in those two games as well.