Is Paul Pierce Downplaying His Injury?
Of course, we all know the real reason that Boston struggled to score 81 points Monday: its true scorer, its professional offensive assassin, the obvious choice to manufacture a big-time bucket, is ailing.
Paul Pierce is playing on a sprained medial collateral ligament. He cannot generate any lift, the trajectory of his shot is flat and he has difficulty maneuvering to the basket.
The Celtics’ sniper has lost his mark, and it’s killing them.
As he walked out of the Garden on Monday night, I saddled up next to him and offered, “It’s got to be frustrating.”
I don’t know what you mean,” he said, in uncharacteristically brusque fashion.
“Your knee,” I said. “It’s limiting you … ”
“There’s nothing wrong with my knee,” he said.
The Truth was lying, and I don’t blame him. He knows what it’s like when an opponent is hobbling. Once a team smells blood, it converges on the perceived weak link and exploits him. The Sixers are attacking Pierce with regularity, and his efforts on the defensive end, which have often included hopping — instead of sliding — from side to side, have been admirable.