They Stumbled at That Stumblingstone
First, read Shoals on the site’s principles. It is important.
Recent posts on this site have claimed that this Celtics team has diluted the styles of its stars for the sake of Right Way winning, and, for the most part, I support these views. After tonight, though, it now seems clear that Paul Pierce has escaped that sublimation. Tonight was vintage Truth: Stackjackian long-considered threes; simultaneously awkward and graceful drives to get the rim; and 19 free-throw attempts that, depending on your point-of-view, were either complete accidents or hard-earned tries culled from little more than a few cracks (or holes, since this is the Lakers we’re talking about) in the defense.
The Lakers have been a profound disappointment this series, but Pierce’s ability to buy into Ubuntu while maintaining his personal style can make the Celtics likely victory palatable for even the staunchest gingerphobe. Since their arrivals in Boston, Garnett and Allen have always said that this team still belongs to Pierce, and, in this series, it’s apparent that he’s still the core of the team’s offensive personality. KG and Allen certainly get a lot of attention and produce their fair share of points, but their contributions often hang on the stylistic periphery, coming in the form of conclusive jumpers and finishes. On the other hand, Pierce’s points are as much about process (again, read the Shoals piece) as the caps to those moments.
Plenty of bytes have been spilled here on the fact that the Big Three never became the forceful standard-bearers that we wanted them to be, but PP’s success can certainly act as some consolation. There are certainly points to be made here about the difficulty of bringing together three unique on-court personalities and letting each keep his essence. For now, though, let’s appreciate that Paul Pierce is on the verge of attaining the LOB on his own terms.
(FYI: Shoals is “100% back in love with Paul Pierce” but didn’t want to say it himself.)
Speaking of limina, we have potentially awful news in DraftLand: FreeDrafto favorite Bill Walker is in limbo yet again. MRI won’t come until tomorrow morning, but it’s possible that he’s suffered another bad knee injury – this time on the eve of the deadline to declare. This event shouldn’t be too shocking for anyone who knows the man’s history; moments of uncertainty have defined his career over the last few years. After parting ways with OJ Mayo in high school, losing his eligibility and heading to K-State a year ahead of schedule, tearing his knee, having the coach who recruited him skip town after one season, and sharing the spotlight with a top talent who overshadowed his abilities, the draft represented Walker’s chance to escape flux and remind everyone that he was once one of the shining lights of the recruiting world. If the MRI brings bad tidings, then Walker will have to return to Manhattan for more rehab and a diminished chance of ever recapturing his transcendent athleticism. That would be a shame. Whatever happens, he must be remembered.