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Pierce takes over, as Rondo sits

Posted by shawn cassidy on January 29, 2012 at 12:55 AM

If you ask most Celtics fans they will tell you the leader is Paul Pierce. Within the team it's also Paul Pierce. What's the difference by being a leader, compared to being the best player on your  team? Rondo is the best player in a Celtics uniform, but the Celtics are built around Pierce, and the way he demands respect from his team. Right now it's great, but for me the defense is the most important thing. Right now Rondo is out, and Pierce is playing great basketball right now. I understand Pierce must lead this team. If I have one concern about the Celtics durning the winning streak? It's the Rondo injury. The plus has been the young back court getting major minutes. The downfall has been the offensive game plan for Rondo when he gets back.What will the Celtics do? Can Pierce, and Rondo share the role?


"I'll play wherever they put me," he shrugged.

And that, in a nutshell, is what makes Pierce so valuable to the Celtics. Whatever the team is lacking, he's the one picking up the slack, often morphing his talents to fill a void.

“I have to make more plays now that Rondo’s out," he said. "Usually, I’m the recipient of a lot of Rondo’s passes, but with him out, I’m taking on some part in that role and it's just up to me to be responsible, to know when to find guys and have a balance on when to score.”

Since Rondo went down, Pierce has also averaged 20.8 points, 6 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1 block over 34.6 minutes per game. Boston is 5-1 over its last six games, the only loss coming in what might have been Pierce's quietest night of the stretch against Phoenix.

"I think we are riding Paul Pierce," said Brandon Bass. "He’s making plays for himself, and for us as well."

This team will change who they are again once Rondo comes back. I honestly think since Pierce is back to form, the Celtics will focus on Pierce, and I still believe that's the wrong approach. Rondo can open up the offense in so many ways.  He can open the offense for Pierce more. I think in the end Rondo, and Pierce need to form a bond, and lead this team together. I think Rondo's role should be attacking, and being the most aggressive player on the team. Pierce should be the vocal leader, and he should be vocal about giving this team to Rondo. Pierce can still be a great NBA player, but when your 33 it's wise to use help.

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Reply Perry S
01:59 AM on January 29, 2012 
They must work together, or this season is done, and it won
t mean anything.
Reply paul
09:24 AM on January 29, 2012 
I think that what is natural is for the best player to be the leader. Right now Pierce is clearly the guy the team responds to, so it's clear now that he is the leader. That means that Rondo is facing a tough challenge, if and when he comes back, but it's really an intensified version of the same one he's been struggling with for a long time. If he plays at full intensity, he is blamed for taking the spotlight, and the ball, away from the others on the team. If he backs off, he's blamed for passive play. It's such a no win situation, and I see it as being much worse, now that Pierce has asserted himself as the absolute, unquestioned team leader in Rondo's absence.

I think the best approach Rondo can take is to be very humble, for starters. Then he's got to go all out on defense, just like Bradley does. He needs to be unashamed to make it clear that he has learned a lesson from the way Bradley plays. Rondo, you are going to have crow feathers ticking out of your chompers for a while if you do this, but you need to go through that. Clamp down defensively just like Bradley. Then let the rest of the game flow from that. Same as Bradley. There's just no other approach to this, and it COULD make you a better player. Then, eventually, things will expands for you as the team needs more and more from you.

No mistake - we need Rondo. But if he is to become the master and not the victim of this no win situation, it will take all the intelligence and determination he has.
Reply paul
09:25 AM on January 29, 2012 
Perry S says...
They must work together, or this season is done, and it won
t mean anything.

They have to find a way, Perry, but I believe that the pressure is all on Rondo. Paul likes being the Diva on this team. He won't share that spotlight graciously.
Reply Franklin
09:45 AM on January 29, 2012 
He must use Rondo. The Celtics have in the past, and they will need to this season. Then again this team is different this season.
Reply paul
10:10 AM on January 29, 2012 
Franklin says...
He must use Rondo. The Celtics have in the past, and they will need to this season. Then again this team is different this season.

The problem is that you have two guys, both of whom need to be scorer/distributor/leader types. The reason Pierce and Garnett work so well together is that defense is Garnett's specialty. The reason Pierce and Allen work so well together is that Allen sticks to what he does well - getting open for 3s.
Rondo and Pierce are stalking the same turf! It's the old lion and the young lion.

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