Pierce in deciding games

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Pierce in deciding games

Not much to add leading up to tomorrow night's game. The Celtics have spent the last five months in many ways, the last five years building up to this moment. Now, 48 minutes will tell the difference between a once-unimaginable berth in the Eastern Conference Finals and the end of an era.

Crazy, crazy stuff.

In the aftermath of Game 6, Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett received a lot of attention for their uneven performances, and deservedly so. The two have carried the Celtics for the majority of the postseason, and for both to simultaneously play so poorly in a such a pivotal game they deserved every ounce of criticism. And if neither can step up tomorrow than the same depressing conversation from these last two days will be magnified by 1000 and carried out for the extent of the summer. Wah Wah.

But what about Paul Pierce?

The Captain's obviously not 100 percent, and as a result, we've learned to expect a little less. If he hasn't been at his best in any particular game, there's always the built-in "Yeah, but"

But this is Game 7. This is everything. Pierce maybe a little gimpy but he'll have plenty of time to rest if the Celtics fall short. They could really use a vintage PP performance.

Anyway, I was thinking: Over the course of his career, how has Pierce actually fared in deciding games?

Turns out this will be the eighth deciding game of the Truth's career. He's played in six previous Game 7s, and one Game 5. And here's how he's done:

June 17, 2010: Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers

Pierce: 45 minutes, 18 points, 10 rebounds

Celtics lose, 83-79.

May 17, 2009: Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics

Pierce: 38 minutes, 16 points, two rebounds

Celtics lose, 101-82

May 2, 2009: Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics

Pierce: 43 minutes, 20 points, nine rebounds

Celtics win, 109-99

May 4, 2008: Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics
Pierce: 32 minutes, 22 points, eight rebounds

Celtics win, 99-65

May 18, 2008: Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics
Pierce: 43 minutes, 41 points, four rebounds

Celtics win, 97-92

May 7, 2005: Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics
Pierce: 36 minutes, 19 points, seven rebounds

Celtics lose, 97-70

May 3, 2002: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics
Pierce: 44 minutes, 46 points, four rebounds

Celtics win, 120-87.

So that's seven games, and a 4-3 record for the Celtics.

An average of 26 points and 6.2 rebounds a night for Pierce.

If the C's can get that tomorrow, it's on to Miami.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Report: Ainge in Israel this weekend scouting Dragan Bender

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Report: Ainge in Israel this weekend scouting Dragan Bender

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and his son, Austin Ainge, the team’s director of player personnel, will be in Israel this weekend scouting Dragan Bender, the potential No. 3 pick in the draft, the Boston Herald reported. 

Bender, a 7-foot-1, 18-year-old from Croatia, won’t be playing in games this weekend but will be practicing for Maccabi Tel Aviv.  Bender is a bench player for Maccabi, averaging 4.3 points and 2.6 rebounds. Still, his size and potential to develop  have him projected to go as high as No. 3.

Here’s CSN’s scouting report of Bender.

Danny Ainge was in Croatia earlier this week scouting 6-11 Ante Zizic. 

 

Report: 76ers look to deal Okafor or Noel in draft trade

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Report: 76ers look to deal Okafor or Noel in draft trade

There’s a high likelihood the Philadelphia 76ers will trade Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel in connection with the June 23 draft, in which the Sixers hold the No. 1 pick, ESPN’s Chad Ford reported.

The Celtics, who have the No. 3 pick, have been rumored to be willing to part with it in a deal that includes Okafor.

Ford said in an interview with Philadelphia-area radio station ESPN 97.3:

You will not see the Nerlens Noel-Jahlil Okafor pairing at the start of next season. I think that they'll gauge the interest of both players. I think that there might be a slight preference for Noel, to keep him around with the Sixers, and I think you might be right, there might be a slight, better value for Okafor out on the market, but I think everyone agrees that that combination of those two players doesn't necessarily work.

The Sixers are expected to choose LSU’s Ben Simmons or Duke’s Brandon Ingram with the top pick.  Ford and Marc Stein also reported Philly’s willingness to deal Okafor or Noel in this ESPN article. 

As a deal with the Celtics for the No. 3 pick, Ford told 97.3:

Absolutely…If I was Philadelphia, it would be done tomorrow. I don't know if Boston would do it, but for Philadelphia, 100 percent. That would allow them to actually I think bring in another guard, an elite guard, whether that's Kris Dunn or Jamal Murray, and suddenly now you've got a very, very bright future. I think that's an easy call for the Sixers if Boston would do it.