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Thanksgiving Sunday Notebook: Pierce’s Turnovers, Hello Road

 

*In all of our gushing about Paul Pierce—and, really, there’s no one in the NBA we’d rather gush about—we somehow overlooked one thing: His turnovers are down to the lowest level of Pierce’s career. Luckily, the Globe’s Frank Dell’Apa has us covered:

Pierce is averaging 35 minutes 44 seconds of playing time, his lowest average since the 2000 season, and committing 2.0 turnovers; his best turnover average was 2.4 per game in the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons.

This isn’t just a case of Pierce playing a couple fewer minutes per game; his turnovers/36 minutes mark is also a career low so far. Some of the drop may be due to the fact that Pierce is using fewer possessions than at any point in his career, according to Basketball Reference. His usage rate is 22.8 percent, meaning 22.8 percent of Boston’s possessions when Pierce is in the game end with Pierce doing something (shooting, going to the foul line, turning the ball over, etc.). Pierce routinely broke 30 during his prime and has been around 25 in the New Big Three era, so we have some early evidence that the offensive burden on Pierce is beginning to lighten. Good stuff all around from the captain.

* Some house-cleaning: The NBA has rescinded the Joe Crawford Special whistled on Perk against Indiana two weeks ago, according to the Herald. Congrats, Joey! Another note: The league is review Rasheed Wallace’s comments after the Toronto game, in which he accused NBA refs of having a double-standard for LeBron James, Dwight Howard and other young stars and of tolerating flopping.

* Tony Allen will not travel with the team on this four-game road trip. The soonest he could play is a week from Tuesday when the C’s host the Bucks, according to the same Herald story linked above.
* The rest of the today’s stories focus on the first truly challenging stretch of the schedule, which begins today at Miami. The C’s play 14 of their next 19 games away from home, including stops at a few tough places to win—San Antonio, Orlando and Atlanta.
Doc wants the team to concentrate on defense early. Per the Herald’s Steve Bulpett:

“One of the things we can’t do is, you know, the Orlando game they scored 27 or 28 (actually 29) in the first quarter. (Friday) night, (Toronto) had a big first half (55). Philadelphia had a big first half (52). We came back in all those games. We lost the Orlando game, but we came back in them.

“We can’t do that on the road. You can’t get off to bad defensive starts.”

Sheed is looking forward to the trip and explains that sentiment in a way only Sheed can. Per Bill Doyle in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette:

“To me,” he said, “it’s always fun to go in someone else’s house and kick their (butt). I know other teams are going to be geeked up to play us. A few of the teams we’ve played are looking to get some revenge. It’s going to be fun.”

* Finally, we end with the continuing sad story of Antoine Walker.

 

Walker, who has unpaid debts totaling about $4 million and may have spent all his NBA earnings, has issued an apology for apparently being something of a slum lord in Chicago. Per the AP:

Walker told the Chicago Tribune he wants to “humbly apologize” to everyone who’s been affected by the failings of his companies, Walker Ventures LLC and AW Realty LLC.

One building has been described as a slum nuisance by the city. A broken sewer pipe filled the basement with feces and debris, and bricks tumbled from the building’s facade.

It’s unclear from the story exactly how active Walker was in these companies. Either way, ‘Toine’s life is a sad mess at this point.

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