Follow the captain's lead

October, 17, 2012
Brian Babineau/NBAE/GettyCeltics captain Paul Pierce at work vs. Brooklyn.
BOSTON -- After the Celtics limped through a dismal outing Monday night in Philadelphia, Celtics captain Paul Pierce entered Tuesday's visit from Brooklyn determined to ramp up his preseason play with hopes his teammates would follow.

Pierce put up a preseason-high 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting (6 of 8 beyond the 3-point arc) with five rebounds, two blocks, and a steal. Even though the starter-less Nets rallied to escaped with a 97-96 triumph, Pierce's inspired play has the Celtics moving in the right direction after the speed bump against the 76ers.

"It’s at the point right now, halfway through the preseason, two weeks left before the first game, I was just trying to establish a rhythm -- how I’m going to play the rest of the year," said Pierce. "No matter who they put out there tonight I was going to try to be aggressive and I think I was. I was really disappointed with the way I was playing the last couple games, so I really wanted to start picking it up."

The Celtics have mixed and matched players, including multiple starting lineups, and Pierce admitted he's stil getting used to the new personnel. But he put an emphasis on being aggressive and hoped everyone else would follow.

"It’s a combination of being aggressive, learning my teammates, learning a new offense also, and understanding where shots will come from," said Pierce. "But you know when I’m aggressive like that, when I’m taking the lead, everyone else follows and I think it’s pretty contagious."

Pierce got hot in the third quarter and helped Boston build as much as a 12-point lead before the third-teamers fumbled it away in the final minutes. Veteran newcomer Jason Terry fed off the energy Pierce brought to the floor -- and the arena with his 3-point barrage.

"It was great to see because, obviously, when somebody gets it going like that, the fans just get involved, and that's my time there," said Terry. "I love that. It was great to feel. It's my first time in the arena. I told [Kevin Garnett] earlier, I said, 'Don't leave me. I mean, you walked ahead of me and walked off. I don't know where I'm going.' I think I ended up in the visitor's locker room. It was good to be out in the arena for the first time, and to see Paul get it going is great. It's a sign of good things to come."

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter,



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?


Tedy Bruschi, NFL

ESPN NFL analyst Tedy Bruschi weighs in on the responsibility Tom Brady shoulders for the Patriots, Rob Gronkowski's physicality and how New England will use Darrelle Revis.

Baseball Tonight

Buster Olney talks to Alex Speier, Karl Ravech and Justin Havens about whether the Red Sox will move Jon Lester before the trade deadline, pace of play and much more.

Greg Cosell, NFL

NFL Films' Greg Cosell covers the Cowboys' defense, Rob Gronkowski's impact, Darrelle Revis' performance last season, the Giants' talent level and the outlook for the Cardinals.

Baseball Tonight

Buster Olney and Keith Law talk about the Tigers' acquisition of Joakim Soria and whether it's wise to trade within the division. Plus, Matt Gelb on the Phillies' plans.


Jeff Green
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksB. Bass 0.9