Earlier in the season Paul Pierce scored his 20,000th point. Paul has always been considered a great scorer but always seems to be left off of the all-time lists. If you're an elite scorer in the 00's you're being compared to Kobe Bryant, according to most people Paul falls drastically short in that comparison. No Paul Pierce has not had over 100 games with 40+ points, he only has 19 of them. On flip side P2 hasn't had 94 games with over 30 shots attempted, he only has 10.

In NBA history only Adrian Dantly topped the 20K milestone with less shots than Paul Pierce. Is it hard to believe? Paul has always hung right above the league average in FG% and 3PT%, while consistently being one of the best at getting himself to the line. If you can't tell that Paul is great, you better tell me what YOUR seeing.

In the early 00's the talk of the league was Shaq and Kobe, but if you look at the books you'll find that the 2nd most productive combo in those years was Pierce and Antoine. Only problem is that Antoine defensively and efficiently leaves quite a bit to be desired. By the end of Walker's career in Boston it became obvious that the student had eclipsed the teacher. Antoine was taking shots away from Pierce, and he had to go.

The Post-Wiggle Celtics asked Pierce to do everything. When he came through it was a sight to see, but when he didn't the results weren't to great. Over the next 4 years Paul would be asked to suffer through highs and lows, or maybe even lows and deeper lows. While gaining individual success and recognition from his peers, the national audience would come to know him as a career loser. Come 2007 Paul was tired of the being the lone star on a team filled with 2nd round picks and players that couldn't stay on the floor. After that summer everything would change.

The Big 3 era has shown Boston a different, while at the same time, very familiar Paul Pierce. The Truth has shown he's still one of the league's premier 4th Quarter scorers, he's shown that he is deadly from anywhere on the court, and most of all he's shown that despite all the great players around him he's still the Captain of this Celtic team.

Tommy Heinsohn said on Pierce, (CSNNE)

"What makes Paul Pierce an exceptional player, offensively above anybody that's ever played, i think, is his variety of shots. His ability to hit the three's, he has the tweeners, he can go 1-on -1, can comes off picks, get out on the break, finish strong, he can go over the top and slam it. They've never had a player like that, Havlicek might be a better player because of his defense, or Bird because of his passing, but Paul Pierce is the best scorer The Celtics have ever had."

If Paul can keep playing at his current level for the next 2-3 seasons, which many believe is likely, he'll catch up on some serious milestones. Paul will most likely fall just short of 2,000 Three-Pointers, but should get just over 26,000 total points. If you factor in years where he may play past his prime, 27,000 career points, but that depends on how long Paul wants to keep pushing.

Whether Paul Pierce is The Sidekick, The Lone Hope, or just a piece of the puzzle, he's going to drop buckets on your head when it matters, and he's going to step up in the biggest games. I'm not hyping him up it's just the truth.

Jesse Dampolo 2/02/2011 12:00:00 PM Edit
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7 Responses so far.

  1. Karl says:

    The is a brilliant article. Great job. I agree that he is the best Celtics scorer ever.

  2. tb727 says:

    Very well-written Jesse, especially the note on Dantley, which I didn't know.

    I do think he's closer to being as good as Bean than people give him credit for. I feel if you replaced Bean with Paul on those 2000-2002 Flaker title teams they win the same amount.

    I'll have to respectfully disagree with the title of the subject though as I believe Bird was the best Celtics scorer ever. Paul's very good but Bird scored more in less years. I understand he had better teammates for the majority of his career but there's a reason Larry's a top 5 player all time and Paul is probably right on the cusp of Top 50. Also I think the argument Havlicek is better may be legit too even though I didn't get to see him play.

  3. .chuckT. says:

    VERY well written. Cant argue against that at all.

    People really underestimate PP - Cause he isnt super athletic, or super fast, super strong, etc. But he gets the job done, not matter what people have to say about him.
    He can still dunk, still shoot (better now than any point in his career), still defend, etc. Again, very nice article. Worth the time to read.

  4. The Coach says:

    Nice job Jesse. Obviously this has been a topic of discussion for a number of years but your points make your stance real strong. Great work on the Dantley find. I have watched Pierce's entire career. What has impressed me the most is the all around player he has become which both Havlicek and Bird were as well. As far as the best all-time scorer goes I think he has earned the right to wear that crown. The thing I love about Pierce is that he longer cares about points, shots or numbers of any kind unless it is the number of wins and titles. I grew up watching the 2nd half of Bird's career and reading everything I could get my hands on about the Celtics from the 50's, 60's and 70's, but watching this team, now in year four together chasing another banner is the best thing I could ever ask for as a Celtics fan. Pierce has been through it all... an amazing journey.

  5. Jesse, I have no words to compliment you, so I'll just say congratulations, but I mean a lot more than that.

  6. Thanks everybody! Looking at the stats for this also gave me a newfound respect for Adrian Dantly... another very under appreciated HOF'er

  7. tb727 says:

    Yep no doubt Dantley was a helluva ballplayer. He just doesn't make a very good coach lol.

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