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|Paul Pierce's combined contributions in the final seven minutes of Games 1 and 2: two points.|
“And Pierce, leaning on the wall, a ball tucked under his right arm, established that very vibe while meeting with reporters on Friday. While Celtics coach Doc Rivers stressed that no single player is capable of single-handedly bringing a team such as Boston back, you get the sense Boston needs a vintage Pierce effort to win this series. How it will manifest itself (a 41-point effort like the one to fend off James and the Cavaliers during Game 7 of the conference semifinals in 2008?) or when it will happen is uncertain. As Pierce knows too well. "There's no script," he shrugged. "It [isn't] scripted. It's an unscripted reality show." No need to remind the Celtics of that. Boston's postseason script had played out just as the coaching staff might have penned it on Broadway, then seemed to receive unapproved modifications when it got picked up on South Beach. Pierce's scoring average has dropped 6.3 points per game in the second round, and after being ultra-effective in defending Carmelo Anthony, he's struggled at times to limit James. While he understands Pierce's value moving forward, Rivers doesn't want his captain putting any additional pressure on himself at either end of the floor. "There's nothing he can do about [Games 1 and 2]," Rivers said. "He got ejected [in Game 1] and he didn't mean to get injured [in Game 2]. I don't think he's putting any undue pressure on himself. But we're not going to win individually, we're going to win as a team." Rivers did admit he has to get Pierce more involved in the offense, while still establishing the post game, in which the Celtics remain hell-bent on taking advantage of Kevin Garnett. "[Pierce is] our best scorer," Rivers said. "We have to go to him more and get him involved. Obviously, it was very tough to get him involved at the end of Game 1. I couldn't think of a way, but I was trying." Pierce preached a focus on each game moving forward, which might help explain why he's been able to put Games 1 and 2 in the rearview mirror. No sense dwelling on what you can't control. So as the series shifts back to Boston, Pierce seems to see reason for the Celtics to remain optimistic, even if history suggests they have a daunting task in front of them. "I really don't see any panic," Pierce said. "It's just about us responding, taking care of home. We're not down 3-0, so no need to panic. Just got to take care of home. I mean, it sounds easier said than done, but that's what fates are, and you've got to do it one game at a time."
We've been a team that's been able to respond over the course of the last few years when we've come across adversity, so this is what I'd call adversity, being down 2-0 in our home building. So I expect us to respond in a very positive manner.” -- Celtics captain Paul Pierce
Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com.