Boston Celtics

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

Photo of Celtics' 1963 White House visit recalls a simpler time

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Photo of Celtics' 1963 White House visit recalls a simpler time

As the controversy raged Saturday over President Donald Trump's tweet rescinding the White House invitation to Golden State Warriors' star Stephen Curry, a tweeted photo recalling a simpler time for sports team's presidential visits appeared. 

The nostalgic Twitter account @the_60s_at_50 posted a photo from the Celtics' visit to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and its principal occupant, John F. Kennedy, on Jan. 31, 1963. JFK had invited his hometown NBA team into the Oval Office for what seemed to be a spur-of-the-moment visit.

A newspaper account of the visit was also posted. The defending NBA champion Celtics were in the Washington area to play the Cincinnati Royals at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House that night and had been taking a tour of the White House when Kennedy invited them in. 

All the team members were there except for star center Bill Russell, who, of course, experienced incidents of racism in Boston that were well-documented. However, Russell's absence was blamed on him oversleeping. His teammates said they didn't know they would meet Kennedy on the tour.  

And yes, that's Celtics legend - and CSN's own - Tommy Heinsohn second from right. Coach Red Auerbach is next to the President on the left, Bob Cousy is next to Auerbach and John Havlicek is the first player in the second row on the left.