Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets

Paul Pierce is playing more like Ray Allen this season


Maybe the answer to the question “how are the Celtics going to replace Ray Allen?” was always there, we just didn’t expect it.

How about a little Paul Pierce.

If you’ve watched some Celtics games this season you have seen Pierce, a shot creator for most of his career, working more off the ball coming off picks. Chris Forsberg of went to Synergy Sports and looked up the numbers.

This is the percentage of Pierce’s shots that came from him coming off a screen:

2009-10: 5.5%
2010-11: 9.5%
2011-12: 14%
2012-13: 22.1%

With that, the percentage of his shots that have come as a pure spot-up shooter and the shots he has had to create for himself in isolation are both at four-year lows.

Pierce also is scoring 1.02 points per possession coming off screens, which is a good number.

Pierce is not exactly 25 anymore, so the key is to get him good looks that he doesn’t (or in some ways can’t) get anymore the way he did for much of his career. Boston has found that, and while not Ray Allen numbers (35 percent of his shots came off screens last year) this is a great alternative.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Clippers ready to win West?

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With our PBT Extra videos, we are previewing the entire NBA by using bold predictions, starting in the Pacific Division (we already did the Warriors).

Some of those predictions come from fans on Twitter where I had sent out a request, including the bold prediction for the Clippers.

It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.

The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).

Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.

Stephen Curry gives high five while his shot is in air (video)

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Stephen Curry said the defending-champion Warriors would have no problem picking up where they left off.

His swagger certainly remains intact.