Paul Pierce and the Celtics Are Ready for the Playoffs
When mentioning the best players in the NBA you very rarely hear the name Paul Pierce brought up. It should be. He’s the complete package offensively and defensively. He has one of the best first steps in the NBA and he’s one of the five guys I’d want to take a game winning shot for me. It took Kevin Garnett and his leadership skills to bring the best out of Pierce on a nightly basis and that along with the addition of KG and Ray Allen are what won the title last year for the Celtics.Pierce has my favorite nickname in the NBA, “The Truth”, which is stolen from one of my favorite movies, “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh”. It’s been 11 years and I’m still mad my beloved Sixers picked Larry Hughes over him. The playoffs start next weekend and the Celtics will officially attempt to defend their titles. Much will depend on the health of KG, but even with a healthy KG I still like the Cavs to make the NBA Finals.Paul Pierce joined WEEI in Boston on Thursday to talk about getting into playoff mode, if he still thinks he’s the best player in the world, and the MVP award.
On potentially being more rested in the playoffs than the players who played this summer in the Olympics:
“These guys, they’re young guys so the Olympics probably doesn’t faze them. You can see how Dwight’s been playing, how LeBron’s been playing, those guys are both MVP candidates. If the Olympics had any kind of ill effect, I sure can’t tell.”
On getting in the right mindset as the playoffs approach:
“Towards the end of the season, come playoff time, I start getting in that mode how I eat and how I rest and how I come about my everyday practice it just goes up another level and it’s just all about the preparation and just those little things that I like to do come this time of the year.”
Does he spend anytime looking at the standings?
“I do every day, I’m not going to lie. When I go home after practice I’m gonna go get on my computer, check it out, see who’s playing who, look at the schedules. I’m really in-depth with it, I’m such a student of the game that I’ll probably look at how many games Chicago’s got left and who they’re playing, Charlotte, Detroit, I look at all the little things trying to get my mind prepared for possible matchups.”
Does he still feel that he’s the best player in the world, like he said after last year:
“Yeah, that’s just a belief I have in myself and I’m not trying to knock my teammates or taking a slap at Kobe and LeBron and these other great players, it’s just that’s the way I feel whenever I step on the court. That doesn’t mean I’ve got to go out there and score 50 points and get 20 rebounds, it’s just I feel like at crucial moments in the big games that I feel like I’m the best player on the floor.”
On not being mentioned in the MVP talk?
“You know what, at this point Michael, I’m not even stressing over it. At this point in my career I’m just trying to win as many championships as I can. I’ve always been considered the Rodney Dangerfield of the game so I’m not really worrying about those type of awards. I’m more worried about what I can do to help the Celtics franchise and winning a championship.”