Followers of WFNY may not know how we put some of our best ideas together. Normally each day, we have a round of group emails discussing what is on tap for that particular day. Most days are straight “WWW at 9am, Tribe at 10 am,” etc, etc. But from time to time these email sessions spark some great debates.
This morning, Craig let off a rant on the Celtics SF Paul Pierce that got us talking NBA. A spirited debate ensued. We thought you’d enjoy reading this back and forth banter.
Craig: ESPN front page reads “Truth Hurts” and shows Paul Pierce…
Dude is a member of a group called “The Big 3.” He scored 26 points in FIFTY ONE MINUTES. He was 50% from the field and only 1-6 from three. He missed a crucial free throw before intentionally missing the second to let the clock run out.
SOMEONE TELL ME WHY THIS KG BANDWAGON JUMPER HAS A NICKNAME LIKE THE TRUTH??!?!?!?!????!?
Dude is part of an ensemble cast. He is Potsy to KG’s Fonzy. He is weak sauce. I hope they beat the bulls because I want LeBron to have a chance to show “The Truth” just exactly what he is worth when he doesn’t have KG on the court.
TD: Craig – you are way off on this. Pierce is the best player on that team and the most clutch. KG or no KG. Don’t forget he took them to the East Finals with nothing next to him in 2002.
Craig: I respectfully disagree TD. That is part of the darkest years in the history of the Eastern Conference. They fought tooth and nail with the Nets and then the Nets lost big time to the Lakers. Only in the last few years with Wade, Lebron and KG’s defection to the east coast has the East become even remotely respectable. He has ability for days, but he doesn’t have “it.” He needed KG to bring that.
And I can’t stand him, so I might be guilty of hyperbole, but still. I stand by the basis of my rant.
TD: you are CRAZY. Paul Pierce, if he retired today, is a Hall of Famer. Who single-handedly beat the Cavs in Game Seven last year? Was that the great KG? I seem to remember him taking and making every big shot and going toe to toe with Lebron, while KG was being stymied by Ben Wallace and Joe Smith and Ray Allen completely disappeared. Last night, did he not hit three huge shots to bail out the C’s?
disclaimer: I went to KU and was there during his three year career and he’s one of my all-time favorite players (I’d put him behind Billy Thomas, Darnell Jackson, and Wayne Simien).
Craig: He hit the shots, but that team never would have been in that position without KG’s angry demeanor and ability to lead the team and focus it on defense. Pierce has skills for days, but I don’t think he has those leadership abilities. And full disclosure I can’t stand Paul Pierce since he spat at the Cavs bench during a preseason game I think in LBJ’s second year.
Rock: I agree with Craig, to an extent. I always give Pierce credit as LeBron’s only true rival at SF in the NBA. Pierce has had SOME big games in the postseason. But in general, Craig is right in how Pierce acts all tough and bad now that he has KG and Allen on his team and he can hide behind his teammates and just step out and occasionally hit a shot. I know he has a tendency to step up when the game is on the line, but for whatever reason, he just doesn’t scare me by himself. His team is fighting tooth and nail with the #7 seed in the playoffs. If you compare LeBron’s performances by himself against tougher playoff opponents in his playoff career, there’s no comparison. Then again, you could say that about everyone else in the NBA, so I suppose the point is moot.
If I was starting a basketball team, I would take a LOT of players before I would take Paul Pierce.
TD: Next to Kobe, for sure clutch play, he is the best in the NBA. Obviously, Lebron is the far superior player, but to me, this is crazy talk to down-play the guy. Ball in his hands at the end of the game, I’ll take him over anyone else in the NBA not named Kobe. That includes LBJ.
Also Rock, Pierce is 32 at this point and has taken a pounding, same thing for college. Lebron is 24.
Rock: If I’m picking a team of players in their prime, I would take a LOT of players before I would take Paul Pierce. And yes, I see through your Kansas bias!
Scott: “Hey, good for you. You were on a team with 3 Hall of Famers and won a championship. Bark, bark, bark. Superbad. We get it already. And we know who you are. So sit down, shut up and show some respect for the opponent. You know, the young team in red that has been mostly beating your team up and down the court, when they have no business doing it.”
Rock: Haha, love it. I can’t recall a team with more fake moxie than the Celtics. I’m so sick of the act.
Denny: I’d take Pierce first only if I was drafting an ‘uncoordinated by still somehow good’ team. I’d have to think long an hard about it but I think I take him over dirk. Or if I was drafting an all-NBA stab-proof team. He’d definitely be on that.
DP: I hate Rondo and Perkins and how “great” everyone thinks they are.
TD: You guys are insane….I wish you could have seen him regularly as a freshman-junior the way I did. He was so good. 1998 draft. Michael Olowokandi was the #1 pick. Pierce went 10. Dirk Nowitzki went nine.
Rock: If I was picking a team of players, and they would magically be back in their prime, I’d have Shaq, Duncan, Grant Hill, Vince Carter, and on and on. I mean, I’d take Yao before Pierce too. I’d take Rose before Pierce, too, to be honest. Derrick, not Jalen.
TD: Vince Carter and Grant Hill? Come on Rock. Yao? How many playoff series has that guy won besides ZERO? Shaq and Duncan are no-brainers. KG too because he is a big man. Derrick Rose? Dude is a stud, but who knows.
Rock: Well, my team still needs to play 82 games in the regular season as well. I know VC isn’t a postseason player, but in his prime, VC was an insanely good basketball player in the regular season. And Grant Hill, when healthy, is still one of the best basketball players I have ever seen. That guy was so smooth and so good. He was just amazing.
Anyway, I don’t want it to seem like I’m totally downplaying Pierce. If you’ve ever read any of my previews whenever the Cavs play the Celtics, I also give Pierce a LOT of credit and respect. He truly is LeBron’s only rival at his position in the NBA. But he’s not as good as he seems to think he is.
TD: As for Pierce, while I may be clouded by the KU connection, you are all clouded by your hated for the Celts.
Rock: I suppose you’re right. I can’t deny I hate the Celtics.
Rick: How lucky are the Magic right now? Howard should have been kicked out of that game yesterday. With Lee out and Howard ejected no way they beat Philly last night, and after Howard is suspended, they could have been eliminated. Now, they have the a game to throw away…
TD: Extremely….that team is weak. Can’t believe i was so scared by them a month ago.
Rock: No kidding. Jeff Van Gundy was on Mike&Mike this morning and he said he doesn’t think Howard should be suspended because he’s a superstar. Give me a break. I like Howard as a player a lot, but he has a little punk in him that everyone overlooks because of how good he is.
Scott: Didn’t Amare get suspended a few years ago?
TD: Right on Rock – exactly why Howard won’t be suspended. The difference with Amare is that he broke a rule that everyone has to abide by. This is more of a discretionary call.
Rick: He HAS to be suspended for that shot. It doesn’t get much clearer. What I want to know is did the refs review the tape to determine if that was a flagrant or not?
Rock: Exactly. Van Gundy also said Rondo’s foul was flagrant, but it shouldn’t have been called that way because it was the 4th quarter of a close game. He said refs shouldn’t decide the game. Funny, I would have thought it was Rondo, who decided to swipe at Miller’s head, who decided his team’s fate. If you ask me, the refs decided the game by NOT calling it flagrant.
DP: What would have sucked worse is if they hadn’t been able to get Miller’s bleeding stopped in time for him to shoot. I did not know the rule is that DOC RIVERS would get to choose who shot in place of Miller.
Granted, Miller bricked it anyway, but still…
Rock: I love that rule. So much better than the college rule, which lets you sub in whoever you want to shoot it, AND you get to bring the guy right back into the game after that.
And there it is… Now talk amongst yourselves….