Paul Pierce really is The Truth sometimes. He lives up to the nickname. He’s had a great Hall of Fame career. Now he’s winding it down in Washington, but Pierce isn’t going gentle–the Wizards are a team that suddenly has title hopes. Washington is playing exceptional team basketball and that’s why its a contender. And it’s why what Paul Pierce did last night doesn’t fit. It’s an isolated example, but it could indicate a problem going forward.
Pierce played 37 minutes in a home loss in OT to the OKC Thunder. He grabbed 12 boards, leading the team. He also scored 14 points, none bigger than a late game three-pointer from the top that put the Wizards up two with less than a minute to go. But the problem was in Pierce’s reaction. His teammates were looking to high-five him, looking to share the moment. But Pierce just beat his chest and pointed up to the crowd, strutting away from his teammates like he was by himself out there. His teammates looked perplexed and unimpressed with the Pierce celebration. Didn’t even point over to his teammate who passed him the ball. Still time left on the clock too. Bad form, Paul Pierce. The veteran is supposed to exemplify “team first”–but he just looked like a preening soloist at critical moments last night. The Wizards lost.