‘I’d love to be Paul Pierce, but I’m Mickael Pietrus’
|01.28.12 at 1:29 am ET|
Mickael Pietrus isn’t Ray Allen, even though he played him on TV Friday night — starting in place of the injured NBA 3-point champion for the second straight night. And he knows he isn’t Celtics teammate Paul Pierce either.
“That man been a 10-time All-Star,” Pietrus said of Pierce. “I’d love to be Paul PIerce, but I’m Mickael Pietrus. … I’m happy to get Paul back. It was hard for me to guard him on the opposing team. I’m glad I’m his teammate. It’s Paul Pierce. He’s a 10-time All-Star. He knows how to play basketball.”
Pietrus knows how to play basketball, too, and he’s filled in admirably for Allen. In back-to-back starts against the Magic and Pacers, he has totaled 25 points — including five 3-pointers — and 12 rebounds.
“He’s been huge,” said Pierce. “You talk about a guy who can really knock down shots and make plays. He’s a really scrappy defender and a great athlete. He’s been huge in Ray’s absence, just filling in that role and being that constant threat from the outside and filling in gaps on defense.”
After scoring 12 points in Orlando, Pietrus finished with 13 points (5-13 FG, 2-5 3P) in Friday’s 94-87 win over the Pacers — his fifth double-digit point output in eight games for Boston.
“We’ve been playing extremely well right now, so we’ve been playing Celtics basketball,” said Pietrus, who said his sore shoulder and back “felt good” as he showed off some stretches in front of the media. “That’s how I know the Celtics play from the opposing team.”
Pietrus also added eight rebounds, his highest total in a Celtics uniform.
“That’s what it takes to be a championship team,” added Pietrus. “We’re really trying to improve ourselves rebounding the ball, and that’s how we’re able to win basketball games.”
The one damper on his night was a flagrant-1 levied on him when he fouled Indiana’s Paul George in the fourth quarter, followed by a technical foul for taunting.
“To me, that wasn’t even a flagrant,” said Pietrus. “He was trying to go to the basket, and I was just trying to foul him. They tried to make a big deal about it: ‘Ahhhhh.’ It’s just a foul. I’ve gotten fouled like that before, so I didn’t say anything. I got my foul and I move on. I don’t know why they tried to make a big deal out of a small thing. I’m glad we got the win.”
That they did — thanks, in part, to Pietrus, doing his best Ray Allen (or Paul Pierce) impression.