In the Bonus: Power forward suits Pierce

In the Bonus: Power forward suits Pierce
March 7, 2014, 6:00 pm
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C E L T I C S  P L A Y O F F  P I C T U R E 
in Eastern Conference

BOSTON — It comes as no surprise that with Paul Pierce stepping his game up lately, the Brooklyn Nets have been one of the better teams in the East.

But the way he's doing it now is a little different.

The 6-8 Pierce finds himself playing the power forward position, a departure of sorts from his days as a small forward and at times shooting guard.

"With the way the NBA is going, it's not the traditional power forward anymore where you battle against the Rick Mahorns, the Charles Oakleys, the Dennis Rodman's anymore," Pierce said.

Because of that, Pierce has actually had a slew of favorable matchups - more than he would have if he were still playing primarily at the small forward position.

During Brooklyn's four-game winning streak, Pierce has seen a spike in several offensive categories.

He's averaging 14.5 points during the winning streak, up from 13.4 the rest of the season.

Pierce has shot 40 percent from 3-point range during the streak, up from 35.4 percent the rest of the season. He has also hurt teams with his mid-range game, connecting on 50 percent of his shots during the winning streak compared to 41.3 percent the rest of the season.

But the biggest jump in Pierce's game offensively has been his shooting in the paint, up to 71.4 percent during Brooklyn's current winning streak - a 20 percent spike from the 51.4 percent he has shot from the paint the rest of the season.

"The way the league is going, a lot of four men are stretch 4s who play on the perimeter," Pierce said. "You got some who are post players. That's the way of the league. I'm going to take advantage of it."