Tag: Paul Pierce

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards-Game Six

Paul Pierce after crushing Game 6 loss: ‘I don’t even know if I’m going to play basketball anymore’


Paul Pierce was absolutely huge for the Wizards in these playoffs, producing in the biggest moments to help Washington eliminate the Raptors, and extend the top-seeded Hawks to six games.

But after a crushing Game 6 loss — one where Pierce’s potentially game-tying shot was waved off because his fingertips were still on the ball just as time expired — Pierce said the emotional toll of it all may cause him to contemplate retirement this summer.

From Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

“Truthfully, what was going through my mind is, I don’t have too much of these efforts left, if any,” Pierce said. “These rides throughout the NBA season, throughout the playoffs, are very emotional. They take a lot out of not only your body, but your mind, your spirit.” …

“I don’t even know if I’m going to play basketball anymore,” Pierce said. …

“It affects not only you, but the people around you,” Pierce said. “Days like this, you go home and you’re around your family, you don’t feel like talking to them or doing anything because of what the game does. It takes a bit out of you. You go home, and it’s not a good day. It affects the people around you. It’s tough. People think you just play basketball, go home and your body is sore. No. Mentally, the people around you, it affects. I know I’ll go home and won’t have any words for my wife or my mom. Probably the only thing that can through to me right now is my kids. They bring me joy.”

Pierce has found a role with this Wizards team, playing the part of veteran leader on a team with very little previous postseason experience. He’s proven he can still play, and can still hit the most pressure-packed shots when his team needs him the most.

But is this Wizards team really capable of winning a title as currently constructed, or just making it to the championship round, even in the dreadful Eastern Conference?

It’s doubtful, at best. So, Pierce needs to decide if the toll the game has taken on him for the past 17 years continues to be worth it, and whether or not he’s willing to endure another long 82-game season just to get back to being able to perform on the postseason stage once again.

Paul Pierce’s game-tying shot doesn’t count, Hawks eliminate Wizards to advance to Eastern Conference Finals

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards-Game Six

It looked like we were headed for overtime.

Paul Pierce has factored into plenty of the Wizards’ games in this postseason, and with Washington facing elimination in Game 6, Pierce once again ended up with the ball in his hands on his team’s final possession.

Atlanta led by as many as 15 points in the second half, but just like the bulk of the games in this series, Washington fought back to have a chance to tie or win it on the game’s final shot.

In this case, the Wizards trailed by three points with 6.4 seconds remaining. John Wall was double-teamed on the perimeter, and flipped the ball to Pierce as the clock was winding down.

Pierce avoided two defenders to launch a difficult three-pointer that splashed home, appearing to give him yet another heroic moment in the twilight of his Hall of Fame career.

But it wasn’t meant to be.

The replay showed that the ball was still in Pierce’s hands as time expired, and the officials waved it off after going to the replay for review.

Final score: Hawks 94, Wizards 91, with Atlanta advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals, and the Wizards going home for the summer.

John Wall says Dennis Schröder told Kent Bazemore to smack his hand/wrist

Washington Wizards V Atlanta Hawks - Game five

Dennis Schröder called Paul Pierce’s game-winner “a lucky shot.”

Pierce shrugged that off, via James Herbert of CBSSports.com:

“I guess Schröder’s going to say that ’cause he’s a little young,” the 37-year-old said. “He hasn’t been able to see it over the past 17 years.

“He probably missed with me in 2K,” Pierce continued. “He probably used me and missed.”

So, the Hawks backup point guard has apparently moved onto a new target – John Wall, who returned to action despite five (!) fractures in his hand and wrist – and is using Kent Bazemore as his proxy.

Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post:

It’s no surprise the Hawks would want to test Wall’s hand/wrist. But it’s a little jarring to hear they’d be so blunt about targeting the injured area.

Does this, if Wall’s retelling is accurate, cross the an ethical line? I could go either way.

But I certainly love Wall’s response.

Matthew Dellavedova is the most improbable leading scorer of these playoffs

Matthew Dellavedova, Derrick Rose

LeBron James – at a level rivaled in the last decade by only the pre-Heat version of himself – has carried the Cavaliers throughout these playoffs.

Cleveland seemingly needed him more than ever in Game 6 against the Bulls on Thursday. Not only was Kevin Love obviously still out, Kyrie Irving left the game with a knee injury.

But LeBron was just 2-for-9 and hadn’t made a 3-pointer or gotten to the free-throw line midway through the second quarter. Cleveland trailed by one.

Enter Matthew Dellavedova.

Dellavedova – an undrafted second-year player best known for leg-locking Taj Gibson – led Cleveland with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-6 on 3-pointers, in the 94-73 series-clinching win.

How improbable was it that Dellavedova would lead a team in scoring during an NBA playoff game?

He averaged just 4.8 points per game during the regular season, and even with this outburst, he’s still averaging just 6.0 points per game in the playoffs.

None of the other 134 players, counting ties, to lead a team in scoring this postseason (gold) scored fewer points per game in the regular season than Dellavedova (wine):


Or in the playoffs:


Player Games as team’s leading scorer Points per game (regular season) Points per game (playoffs)
James Harden (HOU) 9 27.4 26.3
Stephen Curry (GSW) 7 23.8 27.8
LeBron James (CLE) 7 25.3 26.5
Blake Griffin (LAC) 7 21.9 25.4
Jimmy Butler (CHI) 6 20.0 22.9
Bradley Beal (WAS) 6 15.3 22.8
Marc Gasol (MEM) 6 17.4 19.6
DeMarre Carroll (ATL) 5 12.6 16.4
Anthony Davis (NOP) 4 24.4 31.5
Monta Ellis (DAL) 4 18.9 26.0
Chris Paul (LAC) 4 19.1 21.7
Derrick Rose (CHI) 4 17.7 20.3
Kawhi Leonard (SAS) 3 16.5 20.3
Brook Lopez (BRK) 3 17.2 19.8
Tim Duncan (SAS) 3 13.9 17.9
Isaiah Thomas (BOS) 3 16.4 17.5
Jeff Teague (ATL) 3 15.9 14.8
LaMarcus Aldridge (POR) 2 23.4 21.8
Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) 2 17.3 21.2
Klay Thompson (GSW) 2 21.7 20.8
DeMar DeRozan (TOR) 2 20.1 20.3
Kyrie Irving (CLE) 2 21.7 19.8
Dwight Howard (HOU) 2 15.8 17.3
Khris Middleton (MIL) 2 13.4 15.8
Paul Millsap (ATL) 2 16.7 15.3
Mike Conley (MEM) 2 15.8 14.9
Damian Lillard (POR) 1 21.0 21.6
C.J. McCollum (POR) 1 6.8 17.0
Joe Johnson (BRK) 1 14.4 16.5
Al Horford (ATL) 1 15.2 15.8
Paul Pierce (WAS) 1 11.9 15.8
Zach Randolph (MEM) 1 16.1 15.7
J.J. Redick (LAC) 1 16.4 15.2
Pau Gasol (CHI) 1 18.5 14.4
Nicolas Batum (POR) 1 9.4 14.2
Marcin Gortat (WAS) 1 12.2 13.6
Courtney Lee (MEM) 1 10.1 13.4
DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 1 11.5 12.8
Lou Williams (TOR) 1 15.5 12.8
Jarrett Jack (BRK) 1 12.0 12.3
Kyle Lowry (TOR) 1 17.8 12.3
Jared Sullinger (BOS) 1 13.3 12.3
Michael Carter-Williams (MIL) 1 14.6 12.2
Kyle Korver (ATL) 1 12.1 12.1
Deron Williams (BRK) 1 13.0 11.8
Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 1 12.7 11.5
Amir Johnson (TOR) 1 9.3 11.5
Alan Anderson (BRK) 1 7.4 11.0
Mike Dunleavy (CHI) 1 9.4 10.9
Evan Turner (BOS) 1 9.5 10.5
Otto Porter (WAS) 1 6.0 10.3
Dennis Schroder (ATL) 1 10.0 10.2
Marco Belinelli (SAS) 1 9.2 9.3
O.J. Mayo (MIL) 1 11.4 9.0
Nene (WAS) 1 11.0 8.2
Ramon Sessions (WAS) 1 6.3 8.1
Beno Udrih (MEM) 1 7.7 8.0
Zaza Pachulia (MIL) 1 8.3 6.7
Matthew Dellavedova (CLE) 1 4.8 6.0

LeBron finished Game 6 with just 15 points on 7-of-23 shooting. He’d been 0-9 in the playoffs when scoring so little.

Of course, none of those previous nine games came with Dellavedova at his side.

NBA: Paul Pierce’s late 3 vs. Hawks should have been waved off because of moving screen from Marcin Gortat

Paul Pierce

Near the very end of Game 5 between the Wizards and the Hawks, it appeared as though Paul Pierce had struck again.

Pierce had gotten free in the corner, and knocked down a three-pointer which gave his team a one-point lead with 8.3 seconds left.

Of course, the lead only held for one more possession, as Al Horford cleaned up a miss by Dennis Schröder to give the Hawks the victory, and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

A day later, the NBA says that Pierce’s shot shouldn’t have counted anyway, thanks to a moving screen by Marcin Gortat that the referees let go unnoticed.

From the league’s Last Two Minute report:

“Gortat (WAS) continues moving as he sets the screen on Millsap (ATL) without giving him the opportunity to stop and/or change direction.”

Looking at the replay, Gortat was clearly moving on the screen, so the league labeling this as an incorrect no-call is in fact correct in hindsight.

But just imagine if Atlanta didn’t score on the following possession, and the Wizards won on this play, with the league later admitting that the shot never should have counted in the first place.