Paul Pierce says the Celtics are "as tough to beat as anyone in the East." Is he right?
After last night's win over the much improved Washington Wizards, Paul Pierce had this to say about his team's chances in the postseason (via Jay King of Mass Live):
"I feel good. I know when we're all out there, we're as tough as anybody in the East to beat. Especially with Kevin's presence. We're not going anywhere without Kevin's presence, just to be honest with you."
I don't think anybody would argue with Pierce about the importance of Kevin Garnett, but the first half of that statement is sure to spark some debate. For the season the C's are 11-13 against the other 7 teams that will represent the Eastern Conference in the playoffs, which is not exactly confidence inspiring. However, with KG in the lineup Boston is a combined 4-2 against the Heat, Knicks, and Pacers (1-1 vs Miami and NY, 2-0 vs Indiana).
The phrase "tough to beat" can also be looked at from a variety of ways. Is Pierce implying the Celtics are as good as Miami? I don't believe so. I think he's saying that whoever has to go up against the Celts in the playoffs is in for a battle, and will have just as hard a time knocking them off as anybody else. And in that sense, Pierce probably is dead on.