Home US Sports NBA Paul Pierce Provides Veteran Leadership To The Wizards

Paul Pierce Provides Veteran Leadership To The Wizards

After losing starting small forward Trevor Ariza to the Houston Rockets in free agency last July, the Washington Wizards knew they had to had to make a move to stay competitive in the Eastern Conference. They ended the 2013-14 season 44-38 and were coming off their best campaign in nine years.

Washington also advanced to Conference Semi-Finals of the NBA Playoffs where they were eliminated by the Indiana Pacers in six games. When free agency rolled around the Wizards were forced to make the tough decision regarding Ariza.

They ultimately decided not to re-sign him and he wound up taking a four-year, $32 million offer from Houston. Ariza was a big part of the Wizards turnaround and the only other options to fill his absence were second-year forwards Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr. Both were unproven and it would have been a gamble to promote either player.

Meanwhile, Paul Pierce had just finished his 16th season in the league. He was coming off his first season suiting up for the Brooklyn Nets following 15 years in a Boston Celtics uniform. After the Nets finished the season 44-38 themselves, they were also eliminated in the Conference Semi-Finals (to the Miami Heat in five games).

Washington making it to the second round was seen as a huge step forward. Meanwhile, Brooklyn’s season was considered disappointing. The Nets had to pay a record $197 million in salary in luxury taxes after making the 2013 trade with Boston for Pierce and former teammate Kevin Garnett.

Pierce was a solid contributor for Brooklyn in 2013-14, averaging 13.5 points per game, 4.3 assists per game and 4.6 rebounds per game. The Nets knew they had to make some changes and cut some contracts from their books so the league’s 18th leading career scorer (25,453 points) became an expendable.

He became a free-agent when his contract expired and he had to make the choice whether to retire at age 37 or play with a third team in three years. That’s when the Wizards came calling. Washington and Pierce agreed upon a two-year, $10 million contract giving the team a strong veteran player at a position of need.

The Wizards have one of the youngest and talented backcourts (John Wall and Brad Beal) in the NBA. Pierce can teach the kids a thing or two about winning a Championship.
The Wizards have one of the youngest and talented backcourts (John Wall and Brad Beal) in the NBA. Pierce can teach the kids a thing or two about winning a Championship.

He has been an invaluable piece to the puzzle for the Wizards this season. Washington currently sits at 25-11, good enough for second in the Eastern Conference. Pierce (12.8 PPG, 3.5, APG, 4.3 RPG) has fit in with his new teammates seamlessly.

Even though he is no longer the go-to option for his team, he can still put the ball in the basket when called upon. He is just as efficient as ever but he is playing the fewest amount of minutes since he began his NBA career in 1998. He is shooting 45% from the field, as well as 38% from the three-point line, which matches up favorably with his career stats.

His long-range shooting has been a boon for his new team. Washington is leading the NBA in three-point percentage at 39%. Defensively the Wizards rank fifth in the league, holding the opposition to 97.29 points per game. Pierce played for some of the toughest defensive units of the past 10 years in Boston and he has preached “good defensive habits” to the Wizards.

Overall, the combination of Paul Pierce and the Washington Wizards has been a match made in heaven this season. The team relies on two young stars (John Wall and Brad Beal) and having a veteran with Championship experience has really taken Washington to the next level. They will be a contender come Playoff time and although he won’t get the headlines, Pierce will become a large factor determining how far the Wizards advance.

a07975a7aafa4a137b8a2166456700eb?s=117&d=mm&r=g
Chris Kirby
Die hard NBA fan from Forest Grove, OR. Now living in Pasadena, MD. My loyalty starts and ends with the Portland Trailblazers. RIP CITY.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sports News

Can Barcelona Achieve Success This Season?

Will it be the fourth year that Barcelona faces a humiliating season or will they get their hands on the Champions League trophy for the sixth time? It has been a long time since 2015, that Barcelona last won the Champions League. What’s more disheartening are the heavy losses, the team has been suffering for the past few years. Obviously, last year's famous 8-2 thrashing from Bayern Munich highlighted the hollowness created in the team. And...

Fabinho Acrobatics Seals Liverpool Win

Reds opean European campaign with a win and solid defensive display

The Rejuvenation of Isaiah Thomas During the Pandemic

Isaiah Thomas has seen highs and lows like no other all-star in the NBA. From being an MVP candidate who finished 3rd in regular-season - MVP voting averaging of 29 points per game, to being traded the next year. And then being traded two more times from Washington to Denver and then on to the LA Clippers and then cut by the Clippers, it has been a real roller-coaster ride (not a good one)...

Lazio FC – The Rich History of Società Sportiva Lazio

Lazio Football Club is an Italian football club based in Rome, known mainly for their love for the beautiful game of soccer. They are annual participants in the Italian top league, Serie A, and usually pull their weight in challenging for titles and trophies. They have been Italian Scudetto winners twice in 1974 and 2000, and have lifted the prestigious Coppa Italia a whopping seven times, the Supercoppa Italiana three times and the European collections...

2020 World Series Preview/ Exciting Championship Reviews

A preview of the Dodger facing off against the Rays in the World Series. The Braves-Dodgers and Rays-Astros series wrap-up.

Estrada Headlines World Title Triple Header on October 23

Matchroom USA will return to North America for the first time in over 8 weeks with an exciting World championship Triple Header topped by pound-for-pound star Juan Francisco Estrada. Estrada defends his WBC and Ring magazine belts against Carlos Cuadras in a rematch of their 'Mexican War' which took place in 2017. Roman Gonzalez faces off against Israel Gonzalez for Chocolatito's WBA (Super) Super-Flyweight title in the co-main event. The Nicaraguan won the title by...

Van Dijk injury gives Klopp the opportunity to reinvent Reds

Van Dijk faces lengthy time on the sidelines As the news finally broke on Van Dijk’s injury, one could almost sense a collective sigh of despair from the Liverpool fans. Their worst fears were confirmed as official word from the player arrived on social media. After undergoing further scans, the Dutch defender stated the following, “I’m now fully focused on my recovery and will do everything I can to be back as quickly as possible. Despite...

Maro Itoje: The Future Captain of England Rugby

The name Oghenemaro Itoje does not sound too familiar to many rugby enthusiasts, yet, when it's shortened to Maro Itoje, every England Rugby fan has words of praise for the latest English rugby superstar. The lock forward weighs in at a solid 115 KG, with his height being a whopping 1.95m. The presence of Itoje in The English forward’s has allowed it to find its backbone, where Itoje leads the pack. After a disappointing 2019...

Spurs Quick Start Ambushed by Lanzini’s Hammer

A fast start by Spurs Peep!....peep!, it was not even a minute before the referee blew the whistle for the second time. 45 seconds was all it took for Spurs to go ahead in this game, a start that even the Roadrunner would appreciate. The Lily Whites continued their rapid and mind-numbing start to the season as they rushed into a generous lead, with Kane at the heart of it. The English national...

Crawford Brook Agreed for November 14 on ESPN

On the Lomachenko-Lopez broadcast last night on ESPN, Top Rank announced another big fight just 4 weeks away. Terence Crawford will defend his WBO Welterweight title against Britain's Kell Brook on regular ESPN. This is another Top Rank mega-clash that could have landed on Pay-per-view but now lands on free-to-air television. Although this is a good fight on paper, the question here is how competitive will this fight really be? Brook has not boxed at...
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x