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

Posted By Paul Flannery On March 17, 2011 @ 2:52 pm In General | 2 Comments

[3]

Paul Pierce

This has been an ongoing, and underrated, part of the Celtics season, but Paul Pierce has been finishing at the rim at a 72.4 percent clip [4]. To put that in perspective, that percentage ranks fourth among NBA small forwards [5] and is a slight tick ahead of LeBron James, 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. (Reds Army has the video highlights [6]).

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

“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.”


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[3] Image: http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/2010/10/01/ray-allen-on-dc-roller-coaster-of-emotions-over-summer/pierce_paul-head2010/

[4] finishing at the rim at a 72.4 percent clip: http://www.hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Paul%20Pierce

[5] ranks fourth among NBA small forwards: http://www.hoopdata.com/shotstats.aspx?team=%25&type=pg&posi=SF&yr=2011&gp=40&mins=30

[6] Reds Army has the video highlights: http://www.redsarmy.com/home/2011/03/the-paul-pierce-body-count-gets-a-few-dunks-longer.html

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