Paul Pierce's Resurgence Clear as Boston Celtics Top Dallas on the Road
The Celtics pulled off yet another win on the road Saturday night against Dallas, and Paul Pierce continues to look more and more like the dominant and versatile player that Celtics fans have become accustomed to seeing over the last decade and change.
Pierce went into the game shooting 58 percent from the floor in the Celtics' previous five contests, and finished Saturday's game with 29 points, five assists, and two steals. With 1:45 to go in the fourth quarter and Boston clinging to a one-point lead, Pierce drained a three to put the Green up by four.
On the following possession, Pierce stripped the ball from Dirk Nowitzki, and dished to Rajon Rondo for a fast break bucket propelling the Celts to another big road victory over a tough Dallas team with a 24-11 home record for the season.
Pierce suffered a mild left foot sprain on Feb. 1 against the Wizards, and he continues to demonstrate resiliency from the injury.
On the Sidelines in the first half of Saturday night's game, Greg Dickerson reported on what coach Doc Rivers had to say about Pierce and his progress.
"He's getting there...still things he's working on like his endurance and his timing...Still has to get better and he's starting to get his step back down."
The Doc is right.
Pierce isn't all the way back yet, but he's awfully close. Earlier in the season, Pierce was troubled by injury and it showed. Even though his three-point shooting was better than it had ever been, he struggled to get into the rhythm of the rest of his game.
Pierce had difficulty scoring off the dribble drive; he wasn't getting to the free throw line with his usual consistency, and didn't have his traditional mid-range flow.
Now Pierce is penetrating at will, finishing at the rim, getting to the foul line, and creating space from the perimeter to knock down the mid-range jumper.
Oh, and he's still hitting from three-point range.
If that sounds similar to vintage Paul Pierce, it's because it is.
Kevin Garnett has also had some strong performances of late, including a game-high 22 points in a win at Philadelphia earlier this month.
But the question still remains if KG will stay healthy and continue to approach his top-shelf form. It's no secret that the Celtics need their "Big Three" to be in full force to contend for an NBA title this year. But right now, it looks like the Celtics will be getting "the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth," come playoff time.
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