The Simple Truth, Paul Pierce Is the Most Clutch Closer in the Game

Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IJune 6, 2012

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 03:  Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics looks on in the second half aginst the Miami Heat in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on June 3, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

With all due respect to Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant, who is quickly becoming the NBA's best closer, he still has a little ways to go before he takes that honor away from Paul Pierce.

As the demonstrated in Game 5, it doesn't matter how bad he struggles for the first 47 minutes. "The Truth" has the ability to take it to another level in the clutch.

The ball is always in the hands of Pierce with the game on the line, and as he's shown time and time again in the past, Pierce doesn't shy away from the pressure. Tuesday night's three in the face of LeBron James turned out to be the biggest shot of the game. And for the Celtics, who better to take it?

Pierce was 5-of-18 before knocking down that three, but that would never stop him from coming through in the clutch. 

Some players run and hide when the pressure is at its highest and some players get going at that very moment. Pierce is a guy that wants the pressure on him. He's not afraid to fail, and because of that attitude, he's going to live up to the moment more times than not.

That's what separates a guy like Pierce from a guy like LeBron James.

James may put up bigger numbers for 47 minutes, but who are you giving the ball to when you need a big shot to win the game?

LeBron (and mostly everyone else in the NBA) doesn't measure up to Pierce in those situations.

While Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett have been outstanding to this point, Pierce is a big reason why the Celtics are only one game away from heading to their third NBA Finals in the past five years.

Pierce is now 12-of-19 (3-of-4 on threes) this postseason in the final five minutes of games with a five-point margin or less.

Pierce is called "The Truth," and he's earned that nickname. 

He's beaten the buzzer 21 times in his career, and has had other countless late-game big shots in both the regular season and postseason.

Pierce may be 34 years old and his play through the first 47 minutes of games may be starting to slow down, but in that last minute, there are still very few players in the league as clutch as Pierce.