Matt Barnes is not the kind of player who cares about how many points he scores, or how many assists he has in a game. He cares about winning, and knows the best way he can help his team do that is to defend. In his time in the NBA, Barnes has guarded the best of the best: Kobe, LeBron, Wade, you name it. Does he always get the better of them? Of course not. But he always wants to take on the other team's number one guy. Recently, Barnes commented about matching up against Celtics forward Paul Pierce, who is averaging 25 points per game thus far in the series, “I’d love to guard Pierce. I got the chance to guard him a little bit the last game and felt that I did a pretty good job. But he’s really rolling right now, so we need to slow him down somehow.

This wouldn't be the first time Barnes has played against The Truth. The Orlando small forward went on to say, "I’ve studied his game a lot and played against him in the summertime in L.A...I don’t go for a lot of the stuff that he tries to do, but he still makes tough shots. He’s a tough player. I think that I can slow him down. You don’t really stop anybody; you just want to slow him down.’’ Pierce knows that last part all too well after having to guard reigning two-time MVP LeBron James in the last series.

However, rather than sticking to the humble, "He's a great player. He does this, that, and the other thing right..." type quote, Barnes took a shot at Pierce, saying, “My third foul in the third quarter, when I tried to beat him over the screen, he fell down like I threw him. It was ridiculous. But the refs called it so it was a good play. It was a flop, 100 percent, and that’s how some guys like to play. But if the refs call it, it’s effective.” Those are big words for a guy averaging a whopping four pointers per game in the series.

I don't think the statement is nearly as cold as Q-Rich's "actresses" accusation in the opening round, but saying that down 2-0 in the series and going into the Garden is just not smart. The Celtics fans are going to absolutely eat him alive. If Orlando coach, Stan Van Gundy, does assign Barnes to guard Paul in Game 3, I just don't think Barnes has the size and speed to defend Pierce well. I fully expect the Celtics captain to rise to the occasion and make Barnes eat his words.

Stephen Bailey 5/21/2010 09:15:00 AM Edit
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10 Responses so far.

  1. Karl says:

    Players need to stop talking so much and just stick to playing the game especially if you're a nobody like Barnes. I look forward to Pierce dropping another 25 on Saturday night.

  2. JR says:

    Glad you wrote about this Bailey. I'm sure the happiest guy to hear about this is Ray, as he'll go for 20 plus on Vince.

    Honestly I don't think Pierce is that much of a "flopper" fwiw.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Who does MattBarnes think he is, talking like that after they lost to the C`s in their home court. That`s ridiculous

  4. jayms says:

    yea all this means is that ray will take over pierces scoring. reddicks been nice on ray, but if pierce isnt scoring i doubt hell be able to hold down a ray allen who is now trying much harder to get his looks

  5. Bailey says:

    I think Pierce can score on Barnes or VC, but VC's the only one who can score on Paul. When it comes down to it, if 2 members of the Big Three score 20+ we'll be in good shape to win. Whether it's Pierce and Ray, Ray and KG, or Pierce and KG, it doesnt matter.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Barnes can visit Pierce in the hall of fame..somewhere he will never be..

  7. Anonymous says:

    barnes has size, hes 6.7

  8. Anonymous says:

    Barnes can't handle pierce. He doesn't have the speed or agility to keep up with a caliber player such as the Truth.

  9. rondo-is-love says:

    The reason why they chose those defensive matchups in the first place was because Barnes is much better at fighting through screens and chasing someone who curls a lot as well, whereas Carter seems to have trouble with that. If they switch them back, I'm pretty sure it's just gonna open up Ray Allen and by the time Redick enters the game (who actually does a decent job on Ray), it'll probably be too late. Barnes and Carter are the same height so length won't really make a difference. I'm gonna have soooo much fun watching Carter try to fight through screens and such, chasing Ray. I doubt he'll have enough energy left to use on the offensive end of the court.

  10. Anonymous says:

    who's matt barnes?

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