The Evolution of ‘The Truth’ in Clutch Performances

January 9th, 2010 by Nick Gelso Leave a reply »
In 1998, when Paul Pierce was selected tenth in the NBA draft, it was looked upon by many Celtics fans as a short consolation prize for the unlucky drop of the lottery balls in 1997. A year later, Pierce instead of Tim Duncan, would join Celtics star Antoine Walker. Averaging 16 points and 6 rebounds per game, Pierce was named to All-Rookie team in 1998. A team packed with three scoring options in Walker, Ron Mercer and Pierce but devoid of leadership had notched adisappointing record of 19-31. Celtics fans again looked upon Pierce as an inadequate substitute for losing Tim Duncan, in the 1997 NBA draft lottery. The Celtics showed little improvements as the Rick Pitino era had resulted in disaster. It was not until 2002 that Pierce would lead the Celtics to the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons. Pierce and Walker would highlight their playoff march by reaching the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Nets. Unexpectedly, the 2002 Cinderella Celtics (49-33), had reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1988. Pierce, always considered to be Walker'swing-man, was starting to separate himself as the team's lone leader and, in game three of t ...

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