It is a well-known fact that Paul Pierce does not like the Miami Heat, so it should come as no surprise that the Boston Celtics legend is jumping all over his former rival after their slow start to the season.
The Heat fell to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, dropping their record to 6-12 on the season. Although they caught fire in the NBA bubble last year and reached the Finals, Pierce said on ESPN’s “The Jump” earlier this week that he does not think Miami will make the playoffs.
Pierce’s remarks came after the Heat’s blowout loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night. He said they simply haven’t shown the toughness they did last season.
“As great as the Miami Heat were in the playoffs last year, they will not make the playoffs this year,” Pierce said, as transcribed by Robert Marvi of Heat Nation. “And we saw a play earlier in the show where [Nikola] Jokic got the ball and threw it full court. That’s not the Miami Heat team we saw last year – full of grit, full of grind like the Memphis Grizzlies. That team was built on hard work and toughness, and I have not seen that this year, and that’s why I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs.”
The Heat were just 1.5 games behind the No. 8 seed New York Knicks heading into Friday. That deficit is hardly insurmountable, especially with a talented team that won the Eastern Conference less than a year ago. Jimmy Butler has also played in just six games and Tyler Herro has missed a handful. If they can get healthy, there is more than enough time to turn things around.
Miami’s biggest problem has been scoring, and a healthy Butler and Herro will certainly help address that. Pierce has always been biased against the Heat. We were reminded of that with the comments he made about Herro during the playoffs last year. He’d love for them to miss the postseason.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, Paul Pierce is getting ratio’d for one of his takes yet again.
Speaking this week on ESPN’s “The Jump,” the retired Boston Celtics great commented on Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic, saying he saw a lot of his own game in Doncic. While Pierce admitted that Doncic is a better passer than he was, Pierce maintained that their scoring abilities were similar.
"He got a lot of me in him. Seriously though. It looks slow & lethargic, but he always gets there. He's a better passer, but as far as scoring ability, me & him got a lot in common."
Pierce may have a bit of a point in that he relied more so on craftiness and stepbacks rather than athleticism to get his points, much like Doncic does. But at just 21 years old, Doncic is already putting up better numbers than what Pierce did at his peak. Pierce’s best career season (at age 28 in 2005-06) saw him average 26.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game. Meanwhile, Doncic is averaging 27.6 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 8.0 assists per game this season. That is actually LESS than what he averaged last season. Doncic also finished fourth in MVP voting last season on top of making First Team All-NBA, neither of which Pierce ever accomplished.
“I averaged more than 11, first of all,” Herro said. “And I think I just averaged about 20 in the Eastern Conference Finals.”
Herro averaged 13.5 points per game during the regular season and is averaging 16.5 points per game in the postseason. Against the Boston Celtics in the conference finals, he averaged 19.2 points per game.
Herro has not yet reached that status yet like Pierce said, but he’s getting there with his great recent play.
The Miami Heat rookie shouldn’t worry too much and instead recognize that Pierce just seems to love slighting people — especially ones from the Heat.
That nickname came to the forefront after Herro put up 37 points in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, pushing the Boston Celtics to the brink of elimination. Plenty of people delighted in using the nickname for the Miami Heat rookie.
Paul Pierce was not one of them. The former Celtic went out of his way to state that Herro needed to score more consistently to earn that nickname at the NBA level.
Paul Pierce on Tyler Herro "I can’t call nobody a 'bucket' if you ain’t averaging at least 20…if you average 11 I can’t give you 'I’m a bucket'" pic.twitter.com/3X96aeQiJ8
The first instinctive response would be that Pierce, a Celtics icon, is just bitter about what Herro did to his team. Add in that Pierce has a bit of an ego and you have some extra evidence behind that opinion. On the other hand, Pierce holds players to a high standard, and this may simply be that side of him coming out.
Paul Pierce made a shocking admission recently about one of the defining moments of his career, and Jalen Rose may never let him live it down.
While fulfilling his usual duties for ESPN before Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Pierce said he needed to be taken to the locker room in a wheelchair during Game 1 of the Finals in 2008 because he had to go to the bathroom. What initially looked like a severe knee injury was actually a case of nature calling, which explains why Pierce was able to return to the game and help the Celtics beat the Lakers after only missing a minute of play.
Jalen Rose, who has frequently traded barbs with Pierce during ESPN broadcasts, tweeted on Monday that he thought about Pierce when he ran out of toilet paper. His tweet appeared to be as part of a sponsorship deal with Charmin, which made it a very creative execution.
To refresh your memory, let’s set the scene. It was Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers in Boston. Pierce was guarding Kobe Bryant in the third quarter and went down grabbing his knee after a Bryant shot.
Pierce was then carried off the court and placed in a wheelchair where he was wheeled into the locker room. About a minute later in the game, he came bouncing out of the tunnel and onto the sidelines, quickly checking back into the game.
The amount of pain he was in and the way he was able to so quickly return did not add up. But Pierce divulging this detail makes so much sense now and places it all into proper context. Plus, factor in the way someone was behind him as he was carried off the court, and the suspicion that the person was shielding viewers from seeing his backside adds up.
What Pierce omitted though is whether he had already pooped himself and was trying to cover it up, which is something people have long speculated. The Truth needs to answer about that part. Oh, and by the way, an athlete pooping his pants in a game is not unusual.
Fans in Toronto are said to be extraordinarily polite, but that was not the case for their dealings with Paul Pierce.
Raptors fans in attendance at Scotiabank Arena for Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday in Toronto chanted “Paul Pierce sucks” after seeing the ESPN analyst. Pierce played right back at them with a hand to the ear:
Paul Pierce got into a confrontation with security staffers at a UFC event last year, and the former NBA star is facing a lawsuit because of it.
According to a report from TMZ, Christopher Mostello was working security at the T-Mobile Arena during UFC 229 — headlined by Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov — when a supervisor called him to respond to an incident involving Pierce. Mostello says Pierce had gotten physical with a female supervisor because she asked to see his ticket when he returned to his seat. Mostello accused Pierce of grabbing the woman’s arms and shoving her aside, and he supposedly screamed “f— you!” at Costello and called him a racist when Costello came over to help.
The incident was documented by TMZ last October, and a video taken by a fan sitting nearby shows Pierce being escorted out and calling Costello a racist more than once. Mostello says his reputation has been negatively impacted as a result of the incident, and he is suing Pierce for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit demands more than $15,000 in damages plus other costs.
Paul Pierce has made some more comments that are sure to get the attention of the masses.
During ESPN’s pregame coverage before Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night, Pierce said he thought the Portland Trail Blazers could win if Kevin Durant misses games in the series due to his calf injury. In his explanation for his pick, Pierce said the Blazers’ guards are as good as the Warriors’.
“I do (think Portland can win),” Pierce said. “I think it’s closer than you think. For one, I think that the backcourts are a wash. Damian Lillard was a first-team All-NBA player a year ago. That will be Steph (Curry) this year. So these guys are neck-and-neck when we talk about talent and scoring. CJ McCollum is playing like an All-Star. Klay Thompson is an All-Star. So they’re not far off from each other. The difference is the role players.”
Pierce’s support of Portland’s guards is nice, but we can’t agree. Curry is an MVP and the greatest shooter in NBA history. There is a big difference between being second or even first-team All-NBA and being a league MVP. The difference between those two levels is similar to the difference between being a first or second-team All-NBA pick and just missing the cut. Similarly, Klay is so accomplished and has proven how good he is numerous times. McCollum is a very good player and proved his value in Game 7 of the conference semis, but he’s still a step below Thompson.
The best way for them to prove Pierce’s comments to be true is to play amazingly in the series and beat the Warriors. Then we may start to think differently. Until then, Pierce may get laughed out of the building the way he was on his last comments.
Paul Pierce’s Boston Celtics homerism seemed to shine through on Sunday.
The former Celtics legend said on ABC/ESPN after the Celtics beat up the Milwaukee Bucks on the road in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals series 112-90 that the series was over.
“Giannis (Antetokounmpo) definitely has to play better. As a team, I don’t know where Milwaukee goes from here,” Pierce said.
Host Michelle Beadle asked whether that meant he thought the series was over.
“I think it’s over. I think styles make fights in boxing, and matchups … when I watched this today … if Giannis doesn’t have a monster game and somebody else besides him does not step up, Boston’s going to out-talent them,” Pierce said.
While that may be oversimplifying things, the Bucks can look at the shooting percentages for comfort.
Milwaukee shot just 34.8 percent from the field, while Boston shot 54 percent. Boston may have the upper hand in the series at the moment, but don’t expect the shooting percentages to continue to have that kind of a disparity.