Lakers vs. Celtics, Game 3: Pierce’s Bravado Backfires in Critical Loss


After the Celtics took game 2 at Staples, Paul Pierce vowed that his Celtics “ain’t goin back to L.A.”

Well, after Pierce posted only 15 points, shot barely over 40% from the field and had more fouls (5) than rebounds and assists combined (two apiece), he may finally be on his way to backing up his words—just not the way he intended.

These latest antics leave us to wonder whether Pierce is really this arrogant or if he’s incapable of realizing that he’s up against a much different Finals opponent than he was  in 2008?

He ran his mouth excessively back then too, but that Laker team spent the majority of their time trying to defend him with Vladimir Radmonovich, who isn’t exactly known as a defensive stalwart. Even when Radmonovich was on the bench, those Lakers were forced to go against Pierce with the much smaller, injury hampered Trevor Ariza—quite a step down from Ron Artest.

To be frank, Paul Pierce doesn’t resemble the guy he was two years ago anyway. He’d been showing as much throughout the duration of the playoffs, posting both his lowest post-season scoring average since his rookie season (18 ppg) and a career post-season low 4.4 rebounds.

Don’t get me wrong, its not that Pierce’s brash prediction was the first ill-advised remark of the series. When Pau Gasol remarked that Kevin Garnett had “lost some explosiveness” I cringed. The remark wasn’t an all out attack or even a particularly malicious critique, but why risk making a remark that could be taken so far out of context?

Why risk waking a sleeping giant—particularly one that had given you and the rest of your team such difficulty only two years ago?

But still, that remark was a far cry Pierce’s guarantee.

But this is nothing new. It seems as though the reigning champion Lakers ...

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