The NBA: Nothing But The Truth

Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics have fallen on hard
times in the 2011-2012 season.

*All images are from the Associated Press.

"That's the Paul we've been missing. He played great. We believe in him, and we're going to continue to believe in him." – Rajon Rondo

Yes, the Boston Celtics have missed Paul Pierce.

So much.

They went 0-3 to start the season sans their leading scorer, and when they got him, well, they didn’t exactly annihilate any and all comers by winning just 6 of their last 12 games.

Now the Big Green are 6-9, tied for 7th-9th spots in the East and behind the hoppin’ and skippin’ Philadelphia 76ers in their division.

Not exactly the kind of season they were expecting.

Not the kind anyone was expecting for that matter. I mean, yes, they’re an old team, but these Cs have AT LEAST 3 lock-ins for the Hall of Fame (Rondo, judging by his career trajectory, has a good shot, too) and tons of experience behind them. They should be okay. They might even make one final, serious run at a title.

But, right now, it just doesn’t seem that way.

With the exception of Rondo, Boston’s main guys are averaging fewer points than last season. Allen is shooting at a higher FG clip, but he’s attempting 2 less shots than in 2010-2011. KG’s performance hasn’t been too impressive, too. He’s averaging almost 2 rebounds and 2 points less than last year, and though his FG% is still at a respectable 48%, it’s significantly less than the 52% he made in the previous campaign. Pierce, while still leading Boston in scoring, is faring even worse. His ppg has dipped 2 points, his FG% has dropped from nearly 50% to just a shade above 41%, while his rpg, FT% and turnovers have take hits as well.

Yes, those are the three future Hall of Famers I was talking about.

Perhaps as a consequence, Rondo’s assists average has dipped and the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers both find themselves having the exact same record as one of the East’s final four teams last year.

The truth is Boston is now at an important crossroads – will they trade one or more of their tried-and-tested, but aging, bulwarks, or will they stick it out and hope for the best?
Will it matter that 10 of their first 15 games were against playoff teams from last season, and that a lighter schedule could’ve made any difference?

The truth is that there are still 51 games left in the season for Boston to make some moves and right the ship.

Or, that there are only 51 games left in the season for Boston.


After the JUMP, key stat-stuffers for today’s games:

BOS over WAS, 100-94 – The Cs have beaten the Wiz 3 times this season. They’ve gone 3-9 in their other 12 games. Something’s wrong, Danny Ainge.
LAC over TOR, 103-91 – Highlight reel galore in Los Angeles as the Clips just dismantled the Raps.
MIL over MIA, 91-82 – Who knew the Bucks had it in them? And yet they did. Brandon Jennings went 1-of-10 from three and still they pulled off the upset. Awesome.
NJN over CHA, 97-87 – Rookies impressed as Bismack Biyombo rejected 4 shots even as MarShon Brooks outscored his more popular peer Kemba Walker.
IND over LAL, 98-96 – The Pacers proved they could hack it even against the toughest out West. Now the Pacers are tied for 2nd-3rd in the East while the Lakers drop their 3rd straight to fall 4 games behind OKC in the West.

Super Scorers (Top scorers of the night!)
Paul Pierce (BOS) – 34
Kobe Bryant (LAL) – 33
LeBron James (MIA) – 28
John Wall (WAS) – 27
Mo Williams (LAC) – 26

Ragin’ Rebounders (Top rebounders of the night!)
DeAndre Jordan (LAC) – 16
LeBron James (MIA) – 13
John Wall (WAS) & Kris Humphries (NJN) – 10

DeAndre Jordan slams one home as the Clippers filled up
the highlight reel against the visiting Raptors.
Dynamic Dishers (Top playmakers of the night!)
Chauncey Billups (LAC) – 14
Paul Pierce (BOS), Deron Williams (NJN) & Pau Gasol (LAL) – 10

Terrific Thieves (Top thieves of the night!)
Leandro Barbosa (TOR), Paul Pierce (BOS), Ryan Gomes (LAC), Josh McRoberts (LAL) & DeMar DeRozan (TOR) – 3  

Boomin’ Blockers (Top blockers of the night!)
Bismack Biyombo (CHA) – 4
A LOT with 3

Sharpshooters (Top 3-point shooters of the night!)
Anthony Morrow (NJN), Randy Foye (LAC), Mo Williams (LAC), Leandro Barbosa (TOR) & George Hill (IND) – 3

Anthony Morrow torched the nets from beyond
the arc as New Jersey successfully defended its home court.
Jan. 22, 2012 First Five
C – DeAndre Jordan (LAC) – 16pts, 16rebs, 2blks, 1stl
F – LeBron James (MIA) – 28pts, 13rebs, 5asts, 1stl
F – Paul Pierce (BOS) – 34pts, 10asts, 8rebs, 3stls
G – Kobe Bryant (LAL) – 33pts, 8rebs, 4asts
G – John Wall (WAS) – 27pts, 10rebs, 7asts, 1stl, 1blk

John Wall continues to impress in his sophomore season,
even as the Wizards continue to languish in the cellar.
Honorable Mention:
Deron Williams (NJN) – 19pts, 10asts, 9rebs, 2stls
Roy Hibbert (IND) – 18pts, 8rebs, 4asts
Brandon Jennings (MIL) – 23pts, 6rebs, 6asts, 2stls

For a full summary of the day, here’s today’s NBA Daily Zap:

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