Paul Pierce needs to shave. Maybe he thinks he’s fashionable or grizzled, I don’t know. Honestly he just looks like an old man who clings to the scraps of hair on his scalp, struggling to obscure his baldness with a handicapped combover. Instead of dazzling the ladies with manly stubble, he’s edging more towards the homeless look.
Alright, so I hate Paul Pierce. He’s a Celtic, he’s a winner. He’s put a dagger through the heart of my Knicks more than a few times. But his stubble is basically all I can criticize, because his offensive game may just be custom built for a one-on-one. He lives at the free-throw line extended, pulling up for smooth jumpers or exploding to the basket. Well, exploding is really the wrong word because Paul Pierce may just be the slowest player on the court. But he’s crafty, strong, and knows how to use that first step. Quickness, speed and agility may seem like NBA assets, but without a superior knowledge of how to use them, they go to waste. And Pierce sizes up his man with tactical precision.
We can’t forget about Deron Williams â€“ there’s a reason why he grabbed the No. 9 seed. He can pull up from anywhere, he’s built like a mini dump truck and he finishes at the rim like few other ballers. But here’s why Deron propelled up the rankings: he’s got the physicality to handle anyone. Our love affair with his offensive repertoire is far from concealed, but he’s no defensive bum. He’ll bang right back into Pierce, inspiring a prolonged battle for free-throw line dominance.
It’s a little much to call it David vs. Goliath, but I’m sure that’s how Williams feels. He’s toiled aimlessly in Utah, subjugated to the realm of “almost the best” as he watched Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and even Rajon Rondo seize the throne. Pierce has always been a winner â€“ maybe not the best small forward out there, but one you’re willing to go to battle with.
But not Deron, he’s idling. We don’t really know what to do with him. Is he the best point guard? Is he just a shooting guard in a point guard’s body? We want to incarcerate him with the Stephon Marburys of the world, but he’s two levels better. And then we flirt with awarding him proper basketball idolatry, but we just can’t. Another candidate emerges, and we’re quick to throw the crown his way.
That’s why this has the feel of David vs. Goliath. Williams just seems worse. But is he really? Then again, Pierce lives for the clutch. He loves breaking out that sideways glance that drips with “don’t doubt me” arrogance. So really it’s the proven commodity who thinks he’s unproven vs. the chip on the shoulder. As for who wins, either way someone’s telling us: “I told you so.”
Jay Bilas: “Paul is the better scorer in halfcourt situations. If they played full court 1-on-1, which isn’t a bad idea, Deron would probably win. But, in a half-court game, Paul is the pick here. He is strong, can drive it, and can step back and shoot. Plus, he plays on the ground, and will be tough for Deron to deal with because Paul does not commit early.”
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