Paul Pierce Has His Own Back, Dismisses “Rival” Knicks

Paul Pierce

After Paul Pierce dismissed the New York Knicks as “rivals” (really a media fabrication more than any smack talk), he then went out and backed up his words, dropping a season high 32 points including a game winner with .04 seconds left on the clock. Despite a huge performance from Amare Stoudemaire (39 points) including an unlikely 3-pointer in the game’s final moments that came just a little too late, the Celtics pulled out a 118-116 win extending their winning streak to 11 games.

I’ve long been an Amare fan, and his recent tear comes as no surprise to me — he has an offense now running 100% through him. And yes, he is that dynamic of a player (if his dunks aren’t proof enough). I’d expect his success to continue, and if he gets paired up with Carmelo Anthony, watch out.

That said, this game is not proof by any means to me that the Knicks have “arrived.” First of all, the Celtics are notorious for playing down to opponents. They often lose to or have trouble with teams that aren’t of their own caliber. Second of all, the Knicks have not shown any defensive prowess whatsoever and don’t have much depth. How can you possibly expect a team like that to compete with the Celtics or Lakers of the world in a playoff environment?

You can’t.

I still, after all of these past seasons, can’t decide who my favorite Celtic is. It’s either Pierce or Ray Allen. For today at least, Pierce is the man.

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “Paul Pierce Has His Own Back, Dismisses “Rival” Knicks

  1. j-bone

    Your boy Pierce is the one that said the Knicks have arrived.

  2. Teck

    No one has mentioned it but how about Nate Robinson
    s face plant when he tried to jump on Paul Pierce…that was an absolute classic that no one is mentioning.

  3. Two questions:

    1. What will take for the Knicks arrive? An 8 game winning streak vs. weak opponents plus DEN didn’t do it for you. Neither did 13 of 14 over weak opponents plus DEN. So what will it take?

    2. In what way did the C’s play down to their opponent here? The Big 3 all had big games. The whole team shot 52.3% FG, 50.0% 3FG, 100.0% FT. They did this without Rondo or either O’Neal or Perkins, obviously. They won points in the paint, 62 to 50. They won fast break points – the Knicks’ game – 11 to 7. They won in TO, 13-17.

    You need to give some credit where credit is due. In this case, the Knicks played a stellar game, and the C’s didn’t exactly crap the bed. The Knicks need to arrive in the playoffs to “arrive” – but they will no longer be automatic W’s.

    • j-bone

      Im gonna agree, the Celtics do play down to oppenents, however this oppenent they didn’t have to play down to. If you watched the game you saw that it was a fight and a real good one. Both teams were on fire in the last 5 minutes and neither team wanted to lose. For a team that said it wasn’t a rivalry, they were pretty excited on the bench and did a lot of talking after the game.

      • Agreed on all accounts. I think the playing down came on the defensive end for the Celtics — they do this a lot. Then they realized they had gotten themselves in trouble and had to really battle it out — which took a ton of scoring to do.

    • Agreed that they will no longer be automatic W’s, for sure. Agreed that they have made big strides and played well during this stretch, for sure. But I want to see wins against the top opponents and I want to see defense. You’re definitely right with your second point — both teams played a pretty good game from on offensive standpoint in this one. The Celtics often play down to opponents simply by not playing defense — a major difference compared to the quality of defense they play in the playoffs and against the Lakers.

      • I can’t disagree more. Because the Knicks got open shots and played great on O doesn’t mean you can just assume, Oh, well, the Celtics clearly aren’t playing defense.

        Was it their poor D or the Knicks great O or a combination? It’s tough to say. I watched the whole game and I need to admit, the C’s tried. Baby was jawing at Amar’e. KG was poking away entry passes. They didn’t stand around and LET the Knicks score. It’s MSG – you get up for that game. The media hyped it – you don’t want them to be right.

        This wasn’t the Knicks playing a great game to the C’s playing poor D. I’m sorry, it’s just not the case.

      • I agree the certainly didn’t LET the Knicks score. And towards the end of the game, they were trying all out for sure. I just doubt that the Celtics went into this game in the first quarter with the “Let’s dominate on D” attitude that they bring to the playoffs. Regardless, their D wasn’t bad at all if you look at the numbers, so NY should be given credit for making their shots. And Amare is just sweet.

  4. j-bone

    As a Knicks fan I was very disappointed when they showed that the shot wouldn’t count, seeing that I had jumped off my couch two seconds before that. But if you can ever see a loss as a positive this was one of them. Its not up to the Knicks to make the Celtics play defense, if the Celtics are for real, and I am sure you will say that they are, the Knicks gave them everything they could handle, and if they can do the same things or win on Friday, I really think it puts the league on notice that they are a tough team that can win a playoff series.

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