Paul Pierce's New "Role" In Brooklyn

Updated: July 21, 2013

The rumors of Paul Pierce’s age and game being long in the tooth are grossly overblown and the people who watched him play for fifteen years know that better than anyone.

Gary Washburn explains why Pierce had such a down year and why people think he is done at 35 years of age.

Pierce took way too much responsibility last year when Rajon Rondo went down with a season ending injury and his minutes went up and his productivity went down at the same time.  The Boston team lacked depth and scoring so Pierce had to be a distributor as well as the leading scorer and it affected his defense in an adverse manner.

The Brooklyn Nets will not need Pierce to be the first option or even the second option on offense as the team’s depth is an asset so the minutes he will have to play will be of more value and less of necessity.

The signing of Andrei Kirilenko is the most important free agent signing of the off season for Brooklyn as he can spell Pierce and split the minutes and also play the power forward when needed.  Kirilenko’s versatility will be one of the major keys to the Nets season and Pierce knows this.

Pierce will be able to find a niche with the Nets and just plug in the holes where needed and allow his clutch play to rise to the top in Brooklyn.

[quote_simple] Boston Globe

“There will definitely be less pressure on me on this ball club than there was in Boston,” Pierce said. “In Boston, I was the No. 1 primary option. Here we have so many options. We have young All-Stars on this team. My job is to be more of a glorified role player, as Doc [Rivers] used to always say, with the guys we have.Paul Pierce grinning

“With my abilities to do so many things, there’s going to be nights where I’m not going to score a bunch of points. I can do other things to help this club win. With the combination of these guys, we’re going to take pressure off each other.”

If Kirilenko is even close to vintage form, he gives the Nets a long, pesky defender.

“That move was such a big move for our team, for me,” Pierce said. “When you sign a guy like Andrei Kirilenko, it solidifies your perimeter, it gives you the versatility that you need. We have guys that can shoot the three, we’ve got guys that can post up, and to have an elite defender who can guard two, three, maybe four positions — he really gives us great versatility, and I think that’s what you need. That’s the direction you really see the NBA going, to have versatile players who can play multiple positions, and you put your best player on the floor.”

While there are distinct similarities between this Nets team and the 2007-08 Celtics that were assembled to win immediately, Pierce said there is one fundamental difference.

“We’re coming in with championship experience,” Pierce said. “Before we all were hungry for a championship. But [now] we have guys on this team that are very hungry for a championship — me, Kevin, and Jason are hungry for another championship.”[/quote_simple]

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