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View Full Version : Heinsohn says Pierce could be best Celtic (pass on this one Larry)



Seed
03-23-2006, 01:30 PM
http://celtics.bostonherald.com/celtics/view.bg?articleid=131608

He is currently eighth on the Celtics’ all-time scoring list, 595 points behind seventh-place Bill Russell. He is more than halfway to John Havlicek at No. 1 in less than half the games Hondo played (53 percent of the points in 47 percent of the games).
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY><TR><TD height=8><SPACER width="8" height="8" type="block"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>He is 159 short of his fourth 2,000-point season, a feat accomplished only by Larry Bird in Shamrock history, and is second to Bird in career franchise per-game average, 24.3-23.4. And he’s far from through, having added four-tenths to his career average this season.

“Paul Pierce could end up being the best offensive player this team ever had,” Tommy Heinsohn said with equal amounts of boldness and backing. “And I’ve seen them all.”
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY><TR><TD height=8><SPACER width="8" height="8" type="block"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>A Hall of Famer himself after great careers as both a player and coach, Heinsohn isn’t just looking at the numbers, impressive as they may be. The Celts’ color commentator on FSN cablecasts has made a qualitative analysis as he’s watched Pierce improve his game dramatically over the last two seasons.
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY><TR><TD height=8><SPACER width="8" height="8" type="block"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>“I mean, he’s got an inside game, an outside game, a tweener game - everything,” Heinsohn said. “He’s beating double-teams, triple-teams. And he’s added a new dimension that’s making it easier: He’s got them guessing. He’s making the passes now. When he’s reading the defense, that helps him. He can get the shots he wants instead of having to force the shots.”
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY><TR><TD height=8><SPACER width="8" height="8" type="block"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Heinsohn is aware that floating such a grand concept of Pierce will cause him to hear some legendary names in rebuttal, but in that he owns the sixth-best average in team history (18.6) and has the eighth-most rebounds, he’s standing on firm Green ground as he speaks.
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY><TR><TD height=8><SPACER width="8" height="8" type="block"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>“Oh, Larry Bird was a great player,” Heinsohn said. “No one would ever dispute that. But this kid’s going to blow by everybody. I mean, if he plays a significant number of years, he’ll be right up there in career numbers. If we’re talking offense, he can do this stuff every night with this ballclub.

“Bird and Havlicek are up there, and Sam Jones was a great offensive player, too - a great shooter. But he didn’t have the repertoire Paul has. You also have to say the Celtics were doing different things as a team back then. (Bill) Sharman was a great shooter, but a one-dimensional jump shooter behind picks and all that stuff.
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY><TR><TD height=8><SPACER width="8" height="8" type="block"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>“Even Bird, one-on-one, was not as good as this kid. Sam Jones might have been decent one-on-one. Havlicek was a pretty decent one-on-one player. I just think Paul has a chance to be better than all of them when it comes to offense and the total offensive game.”
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY><TR><TD height=8><SPACER width="8" height="8" type="block"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>It’s not like Heinsohn was thinking along these lines a few years ago when Pierce was firing away in Jim O’Brien’s offense and the nice regular-season numbers were lost when New Jersey began throwing extra defenders at him in the postseason. Pierce’s new game can challenge such strategies.
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY><TR><TD height=8><SPACER width="8" height="8" type="block"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>“His ability to pass the ball and read the defense and get other people involved has thwarted any real moves to play defense solely against him,” Heinsohn said.
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY><TR><TD height=8><SPACER width="8" height="8" type="block"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>“And I think he’s having more fun playing the game this way now, which means he’s going to do it more. See, what he’s doing now is playing basketball, not just scoring. And he’s what he wanted to be two years ago, which is a leader. So he’s having the most fun he’s ever had playing basketball right now.”
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY><TR><TD height=8><SPACER width="8" height="8" type="block"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>And now Heinsohn’s having some fun comparing Pierce to the others in the Celtics pantheon.

Moses
03-23-2006, 01:37 PM
Pierce may be a better 1 on 1 player..But as far as I am concerned this is a team game. Pierce is clutch and is under-rated because he is on a bad team..but you can't honestly say he was a more complete player then Bird.

Chauncey
03-23-2006, 01:41 PM
Tommy Heinsohn is senile.

Shade
03-23-2006, 01:43 PM
Listening to Heinsohn is like listening to Walton; you can't take either one of them seriously.

Arcadian
03-23-2006, 01:49 PM
What's crazy is if the argument is that Paul is the best offensively that what seperates them is Larry's defense.

Seed
03-23-2006, 01:52 PM
What's crazy is if the argument is that Paul is the best offensively that what seperates them is Larry's defense.
:laugh:

Los Angeles
03-23-2006, 02:43 PM
The only stat that matters in this supposed "debate" are # of trips to the finals.

ChicagoJ
03-23-2006, 02:46 PM
So its Russell, then? Right?

Case closed.

:devil: :D

Slick Pinkham
03-23-2006, 03:12 PM
Paul is better at running, jumping, and driving.

Bird was a better shooter, better passer, better rebounder, better leader, and excelled in all types of clutch situations that Paul has not ever seen because his teams with him as their leader haven't been good enough to experience.

If Bird were in the Celtics front office he wouldn't ever say this. To Tommy if you are wearing green then you are a God and you never committ a foul, and if you aren't wearing green you are evil and the referees unfairly favor you all the time.

BayouPacer
03-23-2006, 03:16 PM
"Are you basing it on the regular season or the playoffs? I mean, it's hard to compare guys that have never been to the Finals to other players. If you gear yourself to play six months of the year, it's completely different than gearing yourself to play nine months a year. My whole focus was trying to gear myself to play nine months a year."
-- Larry Bird, responding to Tommy Heinsohn's comment that Paul Pierce was the greatest offensive player in Celtics history


This is the quote of the day on Bill Simmons site and he addressed this commentary in his 2 hour chat yesterday:

Ryan (Storrs, CT): Sports Guy, Tommy Heinson said today that he thinks Paul Pierce will go down as the greatest Celtic ever ... even better than Bird. Is this guy for real? Thats like saying Doink the Clown is the most popular wrestler of all-time.

Bill Simmons: (1:54 PM ET ) Come on ... Tommy is very, very, very, VERY old. You can't take him seriously at this point. The man won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1957. That was 49 years ago.



----------------------------------------------

Thanks again Bill Simmons.

No direct link to the quote.
Link Below: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/simmons/index

jcouts
03-23-2006, 03:19 PM
Pierce won't finish his career in Boston anyway, so the whole debate is irrelevant...

bulletproof
03-23-2006, 03:42 PM
The only stat that matters in this supposed "debate" are # of trips to the finals.

Exactly. I think Bird's three rings and two finals' MVPs trump Pierce's individual stats at this point.

bnd45
03-23-2006, 03:59 PM
"Are you basing it on the regular season or the playoffs? I mean, it's hard to compare guys that have never been to the Finals to other players. If you gear yourself to play six months of the year, it's completely different than gearing yourself to play nine months a year. My whole focus was trying to gear myself to play nine months a year."
-- Larry Bird, responding to Tommy Heinsohn's comment that Paul Pierce was the greatest offensive player in Celtics history


This is the quote of the day on Bill Simmons site and he addressed this commentary in his 2 hour chat yesterday:

Ryan (Storrs, CT): Sports Guy, Tommy Heinson said today that he thinks Paul Pierce will go down as the greatest Celtic ever ... even better than Bird. Is this guy for real? Thats like saying Doink the Clown is the most popular wrestler of all-time.

Bill Simmons: (1:54 PM ET ) Come on ... Tommy is very, very, very, VERY old. You can't take him seriously at this point. The man won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1957. That was 49 years ago.



----------------------------------------------

Thanks again Bill Simmons.

No direct link to the quote.
Link Below: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/simmons/index

The quote comes from the article in today's Boston Herald. That line pretty much sums up the whole thing. LB says he could have scored 35 a night if he had to, but the team was so talented and all about winning.

Shade
03-23-2006, 04:17 PM
Pierce is barely averaging better stats than Bird offensively on a team with far fewer offensive options than Birds' teams.

Mourning
03-23-2006, 05:11 PM
Pierce won't finish his career in Boston anyway

Maybe, that's part of the reason that someone in the organisation in Boston is saying it. To get a more positive "vibe" from the organisation to make him feel more wanted or respected? To get on his good side, because he hasn't always been approached helpfull or willing by management since Ainge arrived.

IF others in forinstance the staff are going to say likewise things then I definitely suspect it has to do with some new contract, weren't they working on something like that with Pierce?

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

heywoode
03-23-2006, 05:31 PM
Tommy Heinsohn is senile.

Yes.



So its Russell, then? Right?

Case closed.

:devil: :D

...and yes.

I can't believe Bird dignified it with a response...

beast23
03-23-2006, 05:45 PM
Pierce is barely averaging better stats than Bird offensively on a team with far fewer offensive options than Birds' teams.Exactly.

I won't even bother to look it up, but I'll bet Birds shooting percentages are higher and that he took less attempts per game.

But the biggest difference to me is that Bird was a winner. He made everyone around him better, and regardless of the talent on the team at whatever level of basketball he played, found ways to win. Just look at his college career and what he accomplished there, as well as the increased number of wins the Celtics had in his first season with the team.

I really don't think there is a comparison, offensive or otherwise.

Los Angeles
03-23-2006, 05:50 PM
So its Russell, then? Right?

Case closed.

:devil: :D
Case most definitely closed.

travmil
03-23-2006, 05:55 PM
So its Russell, then? Right?

Case closed.

:devil: :D

Actually, yes, it is Russell.

BlueNGold
03-23-2006, 06:52 PM
Bird is a notch above a player like Pierce. Larry Bird (in his prime) would average 35ppg for a mediocre team like today's Celtics. ...but, on second thought, he would not be on a mediocre team because he always made his team mates much better. As soon as Paul comes close to winning a championship, he might have an argument. That, of course, will never happen.

ChicagoJ
03-23-2006, 08:00 PM
I don't like the green guys.

MagicRat
03-23-2006, 08:56 PM
I don't like green guys.

Jay make Hulk sad.......
http://home.comcast.net/%7Emagic_rat/sadhulk.jpg

MagicRat
03-23-2006, 08:59 PM
Oh, and Ron Ron wanted to weigh in on this topic.....
http://home.comcast.net/~magic_rat/RonUnimpressed.jpg

Jermaniac
03-23-2006, 09:07 PM
Jay make Hulk sad.......
http://home.comcast.net/%7Emagic_rat/sadhulk.jpglol I wish you had a video of that, it was the funniest thing I ever saw on the court.

Chauncey
03-23-2006, 09:09 PM
Bird is a notch above a player like Pierce..

I realize you may not have meant exactly what you typed, but on face value, I just have to say:

WHAT?

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!

WHAT?!?!?!??!!??!?!?!?!??!?!?!??!?!?!?!??!?!

A "notch"????

Bird is a "notch" above?

Are you freaking kidding me?

Has the whole world gone mad?

There's less notches in my belt than there is between Larry Bird and Paul freaking Pierce.

Larry Bird's one of the 10 greatest players of all time. Paul Pierce isn't even one of the 10 best players of today.

Stryder
03-23-2006, 09:35 PM
So its Russell, then? Right?

Case closed.

:devil: :D

100% True.

Bill Russell is the greatest Boston Celtic player EVER.

Stryder
03-23-2006, 09:36 PM
Bird is a notch above a player like Pierce. Larry Bird (in his prime) would average 35ppg for a mediocre team like today's Celtics. ...but, on second thought, he would not be on a mediocre team because he always made his team mates much better. As soon as Paul comes close to winning a championship, he might have an argument. That, of course, will never happen.

Only if "notch" = an infinite times better, then yes, you are correct.

MagicRat
03-23-2006, 09:37 PM
lol I wish you had a video of that, it was the funniest team I ever saw on the court.

Where do you think that came from? Your chick house?...........:punch:

Jermaniac
03-23-2006, 09:51 PM
So you do have the video?Can you up it? My chick doesnt have that game.

#31
03-23-2006, 09:58 PM
I dont like Pierces style of play, he is so slow and unathletic if you compare to other high scoring players in his position... sometimes i just wonder "WTF? Why cant anybody guard him!?", Ron Artest killed him tho i remember.

But thats how good he is offensively and thats where the story ends! He cant make his team better, he cant pass, he cant play defense and he can be very ballhoggy.

BlueNGold
03-23-2006, 09:59 PM
Only if "notch" = an infinite times better, then yes, you are correct.
Whew! I am with y'all. I'd hate to see the reaction if I disagreed.

Jermaniac
03-23-2006, 10:01 PM
I dont like Pierces style of play, he is so slow and unathletic if you compare to other high scoring players in his position... sometimes i just wonder "WTF? Why cant anybody guard him!?", Ron Artest killed him tho i remember.

But thats how good he is offensively and thats where the story ends! He cant make his team better, he cant pass, he cant play defense and he can be very ballhoggy.
Are you 3ptmiller? or whatever dude's name was. I just thought of this yesterday in the game thread, its got to be you.

#31
03-23-2006, 10:13 PM
Are you 3ptmiller? or whatever dude's name was. I just thought of this yesterday in the game thread, its got to be you.

Another Reggie fan it looks like? I cant be the "only Reggie fan" in a pacer forum!!? :-o Where is he anyways? :)

EDIT: I have one more friend who comes here sometimes, his nick is ReggieFor3 or something, u mean him?

Jermaniac
03-23-2006, 10:44 PM
No idea where he is, I just thought it was you, guess I was wrong. Sorry.

#31
03-23-2006, 11:01 PM
No idea where he is, I just thought it was you, guess I was wrong. Sorry.

Kinda off topic, but i read somewhere u was Serbian to? Where are u from in Yugo? Where do u live in US? How long have u been there? Do u like it? :)

Im from Podgorica (Montenegro), live there still today and play ball! I have met/talked Darko Milicic here in his younger days! :)

PS: u can PM me if u dont want to destroy this thread any further.

PacerMan
03-24-2006, 03:34 PM
Pierce is barely averaging better stats than Bird offensively on a team with far fewer offensive options than Birds' teams.

Which also means that Bird had a MUCH easier situation with all the other threats defenses had to pay attention too. Bird was seldom doubled. That's HUGE.

heywoode
03-24-2006, 04:13 PM
Which also means that Bird had a MUCH easier situation with all the other threats defenses had to pay attention too. Bird was seldom doubled. That's HUGE.

I think the point was that it is easier for Pierce to have a high average when he is the only viable offensive weapon. You try sharing the ball with McHale, Parrish, Ainge, and a plethora of other potent scorers and see what happens. Less attempts mean less averaged points, field goal percentage remaining somewhat constant.

And Bird got double-teamed plenty....

Bottom line is that Heinsohn is certifiable to even suggest such a thing. Pierce isn't worthy of wearing a Bird (or many other Celtic greats) throwback. He is good. He is not great.

kellogg
03-24-2006, 04:56 PM
Tommy Heinsohn is senile.


TOTALLY AGREE...he's rapidly approaching Bill Walton in terms of stupid, inane, and insipid comments.

Just have one question for Tommy-boy...how many titles has Pierce led his team to so far...ZERO. Moreover, he never will...after so many years in the league he still has meltdowns like last year against the Pacers, getting a technical at the worst possible moment. You never saw Bird do that, or Cowens, or Havlicek, or Parish, or McHale.......etc etc etc.

He's the typical NBA player of today...individually a magnificent talent, but unable to make his team better around him. Just a taller version of AI. To compare him to Bird proves Heinsohn has had one too many 'Sam Adams'.

PacerMan
03-24-2006, 05:02 PM
I think the point was that it is easier for Pierce to have a high average when he is the only viable offensive weapon. You try sharing the ball with McHale, Parrish, Ainge, and a plethora of other potent scorers and see what happens. Less attempts mean less averaged points, field goal percentage remaining somewhat constant.

And Bird got double-teamed plenty....

Bottom line is that Heinsohn is certifiable to even suggest such a thing. Pierce isn't worthy of wearing a Bird (or many other Celtic greats) throwback. He is good. He is not great.

YOUR point is that it's easier for Pierce to put up big numbers. MY point is that was easier for Bird to get GOOD looks with plenty of other threats. Parrish in the post, McHale on the other block, etc he got lots of REALLY GOOD Looks. So that point plays both ways. Pierce gets lots of shots, but he also has no help so he's always the focus of the defense.
NOT dissing on Larry, who was awesome. But he had a VERY advantageous surrounding cast for making a good player look even better.
And no, he DIDN"T get doubled very often. You COULDN"T double him and leave Parrish,McHale,DJ, even Ainge WIDE OPEN, especially with his awesome passing skills. So NO, most of his big shots were against a single defender. Saw him play whole bunch of times.
What not many could match (besides his passing ability), was his competetivness.

Chauncey
03-25-2006, 09:04 AM
PacerMan, how old are you?

heywoode
03-25-2006, 10:41 AM
YOUR point is that it's easier for Pierce to put up big numbers. MY point is that was easier for Bird to get GOOD looks with plenty of other threats. Parrish in the post, McHale on the other block, etc he got lots of REALLY GOOD Looks. So that point plays both ways. Pierce gets lots of shots, but he also has no help so he's always the focus of the defense.
NOT dissing on Larry, who was awesome. But he had a VERY advantageous surrounding cast for making a good player look even better.
And no, he DIDN"T get doubled very often. You COULDN"T double him and leave Parrish,McHale,DJ, even Ainge WIDE OPEN, especially with his awesome passing skills. So NO, most of his big shots were against a single defender. Saw him play whole bunch of times.
What not many could match (besides his passing ability), was his competetivness.

I understand your point about Bird getting good looks because of other offensive weapons on his Celtic teams. Just because Pierce is the best player on his Celtic team doesn't mean that opposing teams only focus on him. There are plenty of other players on Pierce's Celtics who can knock down shots.

The main focus of this ridiculous thread is that Pierce and Bird are not even close to each other in terms of talent, scoring, competitiveness, making others around them better, passing, rebounding, general game smarts, and TITLES WON.

Bird trumps Pierce in every way, every day, totally and completely.

I watched Bird play plenty too. Including games in Terre Haute. If you have seen Bird play as much as you say you have, you would know that Pierce isn't on the same level as Bird. To suggest otherwise is to be Tommy Heinsohn.

PacerMan
03-25-2006, 11:51 AM
I understand your point about Bird getting good looks because of other offensive weapons on his Celtic teams. Just because Pierce is the best player on his Celtic team doesn't mean that opposing teams only focus on him. There are plenty of other players on Pierce's Celtics who can knock down shots.

The main focus of this ridiculous thread is that Pierce and Bird are not even close to each other in terms of talent, scoring, competitiveness, making others around them better, passing, rebounding, general game smarts, and TITLES WON.

Bird trumps Pierce in every way, every day, totally and completely.

I watched Bird play plenty too. Including games in Terre Haute. If you have seen Bird play as much as you say you have, you would know that Pierce isn't on the same level as Bird. To suggest otherwise is to be Tommy Heinsohn.

Pierce gets doubled almost constantly because they don't have other threats. Bird seldom got doubled.
That's my contention.
If you think Pierce wouldn't have looked awesome with Bird's supporting cast, you are wrong.
I never said Pierce was comparable all around. He is as a scorer for sure, maybe better.
If you can't differentiate those points that's your concern.

heywoode
03-25-2006, 12:14 PM
Pierce gets doubled almost constantly because they don't have other threats. Bird seldom got doubled.
That's my contention.
If you think Pierce wouldn't have looked awesome with Bird's supporting cast, you are wrong.
I never said Pierce was comparable all around. He is as a scorer for sure, maybe better.
If you can't differentiate those points that's your concern.

We aren't ever gonna agree, so there is no point in continuing.

None of this thread is my concern.

denyfizle
03-27-2006, 05:54 PM
well he may be one of the best offensive players the Celts has ever had but definitely not even in the top 5 players. its even hard to put him in the top 10. see Russell, Bird, Cousy, Havlicek, Archibald, Jones', Cowens, McHale, Parish etc. etc.