Most people claim the Celtics are too old. Their bench is lacking. Every other team is more athletic.
Even Boston fans can admit some of those claims may be true after starting the season 4-4. The injured heel of captain Paul Pierce certainly played a role in the first few losses for the Celtics, but that is no excuse to lose three in a row to start a campaign.
Although Pierce is back, he still is not 100 percent. Veteran guard Marquis Daniels has not been the one to fill the Captain's shoes so far.
Daniels contributes on the defensive side of the ball but seems to be a liability when it comes to his ability to attack the rim.
Sasha Pavlovic, the Celtics' other option coming off the bench, has also disappointed. While averaging about two points per game and a lack of contribution in other key aspects of the game, Pavlovic has shown he is not the guy.
So the question still remains: Who is going to be the go-to contributor that comes off the bench for Paul Pierce?
The 6'6" small forward has playoff experience. He can destroy teams with his three-point touch and then play tough, in-your-face type defense.
Pietrus, who is in his eighth NBA season, has averaged around eight points per game for his career. The statistics will probably not turn heads but this guy has proven he is capable of having big nights and clutch baskets. The Celtics are hoping he can restore a certain attitude to the Boston bench.
The last time Boston had a feared bench came in 2008. James Posey, Eddie House, Leon Powe and company helped carry that Celtics team to the NBA title. This season, the bench isn't that bad at all but it still is missing that piece to put fear into opponents.
If Pietrus is healthy all year, Pierce will be fresh and ready to make a postseason run. The only problem is, that is a big "if."
With the debut of Mickael Pietrus tonight, Celtics fans should expect 20 or so minutes of quality play. But, as the season continues, Pietrus could prove to be the guy, again, who can help teams win and advance deep into the playoffs.
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