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Doc Rivers on Paul Pierce: ‘He’s the sneakiest athlete in the league’

This has been an ongoing, and underrated, part of the Celtics [1] season, but Paul Pierce [2] has been finishing at the rim at a 72.4 percent clip [3]. To put that in perspective, that percentage ranks fourth among NBA small forwards [4] and is a slight tick ahead of LeBron James [5], who admittedly gets there more often.

For most of the season Pierce has quietly gone about his business, but in recent weeks he has been executing highlight-film poster dunks on players ranging from Kris Humphries to Carlos Delfino to the entire Clipper frontline and extending into Wednesday night’s dunk on Roy Hibbert [6]. (Reds Army has the video highlights [7]).

While Pierce doesn’t fit the mold of a high-flyer, this doesn’t come as a surprise to Celtics coach Doc Rivers [8].

“I told you this years ago when I first got here. I used to get so pissed when we played the Celtics because I used to think this non-athletic guy keeps beating us,” Rivers said. “Then when you coach him you realize he’€™s a super athlete. He just plays at a pace [where] he doesn’€™t show it. He’€™s the sneakiest athlete in the league.”