WALTHAM It goes without saying that not having Paul Pierce (right heel) in the lineup impacts the Boston Celtics' offense in a negative way.
Nowhere is his absence more noticeable than in the C's lack of 3-point attempts. While the two-game preseason schedule is a small sample, it's a stat that's hard to ignore.
After taking nearly 14 a game last season, the C's launched just seven in each of their preseason games against the Raptors. Celtics coach Doc Rivers isn't surprised to see that number significantly trimmed with Pierce not playing in either game.
"When you have Paul and Ray (Allen), the floor is spread," Rivers said. "And the spacing is different. When you have Marquis (Daniels) and Sasha (Pavlovic) and Avery (Bradley), those guys are more slashers. So it's a function of that."
He's right. But don't be surprised to see the C's jack fewer 3s even when Pierce does return.
When you look at this Celtics lineup, it's clear that the bulk of the scoring from the bench is going to most likely come from their frontcourt which will be led by Chris Wilcox and Brandon Bass.
Wilcox has a nice touch around the basket, evident by him shooting 57.1 percent from the field in the two preseason games.
Bass had a strong preseason as well, finishing as the team's second-leading scorer in the preseason (10.5 points per game), while also shooting 57.1 percent from the field.
"Brandon has to be a big part of our offense," said Celtics guard Keyon Dooling. "He'll be our best scorer off the bench. Marquis can give us a lot of different things, not just in the scoring category, but just having the ball in his hands is pretty good. On any given night I can get hot, or any given night Chris' energy can show up in the rebound and point column. So it might come from a lot of different places, but we've got to be prepared either way."
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons will retire the jersey number of former UConn star Rip Hamilton tonight, an instrumental figure in the Pistons’ success in the early 2000s that included an NBA title in 2004.
Although Hamilton never played for Boston, his impact can be felt within the Celtics locker room.
Boston’s Amir Johnson spent his first four NBA seasons as a teammate of Hamilton's in Detroit.
In that time, Johnson acknowledges how many of the positive things folks associate with him come from lessons he learned from Hamilton.
“He was so relentless when he ran,” Johnson told CSNNE.com. “I remember working out with him one summer. For him to even get his shot off, he sprints full court, goes back down shooting shots, and he just kept doing this over and over and over again, full court sprinting . . . To see that as a young kid, and at his age, just working hard like that, it was great to see.”
James Young grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., so he watched Hamilton’s scoring prowess up close and personal.
And as he continued to evolve as a player, Young would see Hamilton during the summer months while attending Hamilton’s basketball camps.
“I was there every year, won MVP a few times,” Young told CSNNE.com. “He’s a great guy, a great player.”
And, like Hamilton, Young has a lanky frame for an NBA player, which was among the many reasons Young acknowledged Hamilton as being one of his first significant basketball influences as a youth.
“For sure,” Young said. “His mid-range game was crazy, great shooter. He was always consistent.”
And that consistency has paid off in the highest honor an NBA franchise can bestow upon a player.
“That’s big time,” Johnson said. “He’s a champion, great father, great baller. To have his jersey retired is an honor. To see the success he had in the league, and to see his jersey retired with the greats, it's definitely an honor. I’m glad I’ll be there to see that. Kudos to him. He’s a hard worker. Had a great career. I had my high school jersey retired, but to get your NBA jersey retired, that’s great.”
Hamilton played 14 seasons in the NBA, nine of which were with the Pistons. A career 17.1 points per game score, he averaged 18.4 with Detroit and was named an Eastern Conference All-Star three times (2006-2008).
Although he is known as one of the greatest mid-range shooters of his era, Hamilton began to expand his range over time. During the 2005-06 season, Hamilton shot 45.8 percent from 3-point range (most of them being corner 3’s), which led the NBA that season.
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