|Paul Pierce, SF 31 MIN | 4-18 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | -20
We’ll all feel better about this in the morning, but for now, this is going to be mean.
Having a terrible shooting night is one thing. Pierce has been inefficient all series, but that’s not fully under his control: he’s trying to hit hit shots. But totally commandeering the offense in an effort to shoot yourself out of a hole is inexcusable. Pierce chucked up 18 shots, four more than Rondo or KG, in only 30 minutes when everyone else in the building was silently begging him to stop. That’s not leadership. It’s egomania.
|Brandon Bass, PF 34 MIN | 5-8 FG | 2-3 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -11
Earlier in these playoffs, Bass was routinely getting 10-12 shots per game. Not sure why they couldn’t find him more often tonight, considering he played more minutes than Pierce or Garnett and he’s been guarded by SFs throughout the series. Claps for Doc for making the bold switch to put him on LeBron (35 points in, but still).
|Kevin Garnett, PF 31 MIN | 6-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -16
He wasn’t guarding LeBron, so the abortional defense isn’t fully on him, but he still let LeBron defatig his supposedly indefatigable spirit. His five rebounds were about as harmful as his refusal to put Pierce on the deck after his 12th shot.
|Ray Allen, SG 36 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -6
Don’t think for a second that he’s playing passive because he only took seven shots. Ray has effectively been cut out of the offense because A) he’s too slow to get space and B) the drive-and-kick game has been struck from the playbook. When Pierce or Rondo attacks the basket, they’re going up with it, forgetting that if there are three guys around them that means someone’s probably open. When Rondo does this he usually converts anyway, so no harm done. Pierce just hasn’t been driving often enough to get a good sample size.
|Rajon Rondo, PG 41 MIN | 8-14 FG | 5-7 FT | 4 REB | 10 AST | 21 PTS | -25
Easily the worst 21-10 on 57% shooting game you’ll ever see. He got to the rim with the greatest of ease and successfully took his jumper off of blocks, but some of his passes looked like Muggsy Bogues clumsily trying to act like the Monstars stole his skills. He should have taken over at halftime, but hard to do that with Pierce consuming all matter and light. Lots of ill-conceived gambling on defense.
|Keyon Dooling, PG 15 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -14
Dooling stands as the representative for the entire bench here: irrelevant.
|Mickael Pietrus, SF 21 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -10
Shot 1-4, still managed a higher efficiency than Pierce. Yes, all of these are about Pierce. Based on tonight’s game, that’s how he likes it.
Three Things We Saw
- A letdown game. We knew it was coming on some level. Better tonight than Tuesday.
- Pierce continuing to tarnish his superstar legacy by hurting his team with every shot he takes. If he decides to start working within Rondo’s offense and stop forcing shots, he’ll be more efficient and the shots he doesn’t take will be put to better use.
- Low minutes for all the starters going into Game 7. The best way to lose.