He didn’t lead the scoring – that was Jeff Green, helped by Jason Terry. Paul Pierce did a little bit of everything, leading the Boston Celtics to their second straight victory in a season that has been about winning and losing streaks while getting over too many injuries that almost had him join their ranks.
Pierce took a hard fall and carried on limping to the bench during the second half, but that was only a momentary scare, shaken off. The old Pierce, from 2008, who did everything he could to inspire the Celtics, would have faked it a little bit longer. This time, he knew the Celtics needed him back to beat the Atlanta Hawks 118-107, keeping them stuck at 7th, away from the slippery Bucks but below the Hawks and the Bulls.
Paul Pierce put up a beautiful triple double, with the numbers (we all love ’em round) helping along the way, scoring 20 points, adding 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Pierce was lineup up in the shooting guard position with Avery Bradley as the only natural guard on the floor, but this is Pierce’s show to run, while Jeff Green (27 points, averaging 18.9 over the last 10 games) and Jason Terry (24 points) made the most of Pierce getting back to his rhythm after an awful 7 turnover game against the Cavs.
This makes it three out of four this season for the Celtics against the Atlanta Hawks, who might be a more talented team and have a stronger presence in the paint with Josh Smith and Al Horford, but the Celtics have been getting over a lot thanks to Pierce. It’s not him that’s going to decide if the C’s are going to surprise and get by the Knicks or the Pacers in the first round of the playoffs, he’s more or less the think you take for granted. His scoring might be off sometimes, but his decision making is the best on the team.
It’s going to be up to Jeff Green to continue to keep this hot streak going; up to Jason Terry to find consistency and know when to stop when things don’t really go his way, while hoping Kevin Garnett makes it back in time, rested and ready, like last season.