While some may hold the belief that Pierce is no longer capable of performing at a high level, Rivers spoke with Newsday’s Roderick Boone at the National Association of Black Journalists convention, professing that the 35-year-old's move to Brooklyn will "give him more life."
I think in some ways, it may give him more life.
But I just think it's tough for him personally. Like he said in the press conference, he wanted to stay and wasn't allowed to, and that's tough for him.
After nearly a decade and a half of giving the Boston Celtics every ounce of energy he could muster, one can understand why Pierce was not completely filled with joy during the introductory press conference in Brooklyn.
Whether Pierce ended up in Brooklyn or anywhere else, he only has one thing on his mind—winning an NBA championship.
Likewise, during the press conference last month, Pierce made it clear that hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy is the ultimate goal.
Now, although it looked as if age had finally caught up with Pierce throughout the Celtics’ first round matchup against the New York Knicks during the 2013 playoffs, Pierce performed valiantly throughout the regular season to get his team into the postseason.
Last season, Pierce had a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 19.1. In addition, Pierce shot 38.0 percent from three-point territory; his highest percentage from distance since the 2009-2010 regular season.
Per 48 minutes, the Celtics scored 106.0 points per 100 possessions when Pierce was on the court, compared to just 100.5 points when he was not.
Hence, although it is evident that Pierce lacks the explosiveness and athleticism he once had, the guy is still capable of being a major factor on offense. And joining a Brooklyn Nets squad that features All-Stars Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, the pressure to produce will decrease for both Pierce and Garnett.
Certainly, if the Nets can reach the postseason with everyone healthy, good things will result.
Unless otherwise stated, all statistics presented are from 82games.com.