|Posted by shawn cassidy on February 19, 2013 at 6:00 AM|
Right before the break, news came out that Pierce was battling a pinch nerve in his neck. Pierce has been very good this season, and way below average during stretches. When Pierce struggles, we usually find out that he was dealing with an injury that hampered him. Most players in the NBA seem to battle nightly with minor injuries that they can work through. Just because they can work through them. It doesn't mean you'll get their best games. The break probably came at the right moment for the Celtics. Pierce was snubbed for the winter classic in Houston, and maybe it was for the best this season. First it give Paul rest, and second he can use it for motivation.
"When you play so many games, sometimes mentally and physically you get fatigued," Pierce said. "But with the way we were playing, who knows? Maybe the guys wanted to keep going. But I felt at this point in the season, my body needed, our minds needed ... there's so much we've been going through with the injuries. The last one with Barbosa, it really took a toll on us mentally even more."
Pierce at this point in his career may not duel guys like Melo, and James as much. But he's capable of challenging them. He can hang with them, and sometimes he can best them. For the Celtics to win a title, and that's a big if perhaps. Because for me if you have KG on your side with talented guys like Pierce, and Green. I think you have a chance. But for the Celtics to win this season. It will take a monstrous performance by Pierce. Paul has adjusted back into team leader without Rondo. Perhaps because he never really gave that role up. Even so, Pierce has the weight of Celtics nation on his back once again. Of course KG is there with him, but Pierce is the guy that puts the ball in the hoop, and KG is the guy who stops the ball from going inside the hoop.
Pierce can defend, and KG can score. We know that, but both players need to execute their strengths flawlessly. If this was 2008, or 2009. I would say that Pierce, and KG could win without Rondo. In 2013 I say they probably won't, but you never know. The Celtics have shown us you shouldn't except the norm, and with KG, and Pierce on the Celtics I won't except the norm.