Paul Pierce compares tonight's Celtics-Warriors to a game from his heyday
Paul Pierce weighed in on tonight's Celtics-Warriors matchup this afternoon on ESPN's The Jump. Pierce compared tonight's game, the hot team on a streak vs the best team in basketball, to a matchup both he and co-panelist Tracy McGrady participated in back in 2008.
The Celtics had yet to win their title in Pierce-Garnett era, that would come just a few months later, but they were certainly perceived to be the best team in the NBA at that time. The Houston Rockets were in the midst of a 22 game win-streak as the C's headed into town and pulled them back to earth with a 94-74 beatdown in front of the opposing crowd.
Pierce noted the similarities in tonight's matchup, and sees the game as a major measuring stick for the young Celtics:
Pierce, McGrady, and host Rachel Nichols expect to see a playoff atmosphere at the TD Garden tonight, and T-Mac noted that he'll be looking to see how the #1 ranked defense in the NBA (the C's) holds up against the #1 offense in the Warriors.
Personally, I'm intrigued to see how the Celtics stack up with the Warriors after the roster turnover, given that they matched up better with the reigning champs than just about anybody else in the league over the last couple of seasons(they split their last 4 contests 2-2). Avery Bradley will certainly be missed chasing around either Klay Thompson or Seth Curry, but Jaylen Brown's defense has been superb in his absence and Kyrie Irving already looks miles better than Isaiah Thomas on the defensive side of the ball.
Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris are going to have their hands full dealing with Kevin Durant, who really can't be stopped, only hindered. As well as the Celtics have stacked up against the Dubs in recent years this is a whole different roster, although if there's one thing we know for sure they've very much improved on the defensive side of the ball. Hopefully that defense shines again tonight.