Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Pierce named Player of the Month
By Chris Forsberg
Elsa/Getty ImagesPaul Pierce has yet another reason to be fired up as another award rolls in.
BOSTON -- The honors just keep rolling in for Celtics captain Paul Pierce.
Two days after being named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the final days of March, Pierce hauled in the honor for the entire calendar month after guiding the Celtics to a 12-5 stretch (second best in the Eastern Conference behind only Chicago) and averaging 22.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per agme.
Pierce recorded six games of 25+ points during the month, including putting up a season-high 36 points (to go along with 10 rebounds and 3 blocks) against Charlotte last week. Along the way, Pierce also appeared in his 1,000th game with the Celtics (becoming only the 16th player to accomplish that feat for a single franchise, according to the NBA).
“Maybe just a testament to the hard work I put in day in and day out," Pierce said when asked what the honor meant to him. "Consistency over the years, over the season; great teammates giving me these opportunities. It's tough when you have so many great players in the Eastern Conference, to have it for a whole month, it’s a good honor.”
Celtics teammate Kevin Garnett was also nominated for the honor (though Rajon Rondo, curiously, was not despite his assist-happy efforts). Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant took home the honor for the Western Conference.
Pierce has twice been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week this season (Rondo earned it once for Boston as well). This is the team's first monthly honor for the 2011-12 campaign.