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Smack / Oct 17, 2012 / 12:53 am

Paul Pierce Drops Buckets In A Loss; Chicago Shows Off Their New Point Guard

Paul Pierce

For years, even as he masqueraded between the NBA’s best passer and a subsequent weirdo off the court, we heard the Celtics’ were Rajon Rondo‘s team. In a sense, we were right: they go as he goes, and during the playoffs – when the chips are most valuable – Rondo perennially turned in near-ESPN Classic performances. But did Boston follow his lead in the locker room? Did he have the presence to outweigh Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett? It’s hard to say much has changed just by watching the preseason, where Rondo spent parts of last night throwing three or four wayward one-handed passes straight out of Jason Garrett‘s playbook. But according to everyone around the team, everyone writing about the team, and everyone playing on the team, he’s changed. Former Celtic Keyon Dooling calls him the most underappreciated leader in the NBA, and Rondo’s recently spent time organizing team workouts and meet-ups all while keeping tabs on the younger guys (like Avery Bradley). That’s great news for Boston, which needs him more than ever before. He’s the difference-maker against Miami, if there is one for the Celtics … Rondo had 11 assists in 35 minutes during Brooklyn’s come-from-behind 97-96 win in Boston, and he was also involved in the play of the night: he whipped out an INSANE cross-court bounce pass, hitting Pierce in stride. The Truth then unleashed a behind-the-back dime to Jared Sullinger, who stepped right into a 18-footer and drilled it. But it was Pierce who stole the show. He spearheaded a 10-1 second quarter run with back-to-back triples from the same spot near the top of the key… the second one coming from somewhere in Connecticut. Tommy Heinsohn, already in midseason, red-faced form, serenaded everyone with “WHO’S GOT PAUL PIERCE!!!” … “I’M PAUL PIERCE!!!” The Truth finished with 29 points in 26 minutes, but even his playoff-worthy performance couldn’t stop an eventual collapse by the Celtics’ scrubs … The Nets rested their top six players, but all that didn’t matter because they have the immortal Andray Blatche. Okay, that’s going a little overboard even though the big man finished with 23 points and nine boards. But there’s something about facing KG that just brings out the “man” in Blatche. He was active immediately, pulling out Dream ball fakes, spin moves, wraparound passes, and while his start left much to be desired (missed two layups and had an ugly turnover), he eventually turned it around … The Magic took one to the chin in Detroit last night, getting dropped by 26. But at least they can say this: DeQuan Jones (22 points) and Gustavo Ayon (19 points, 10 rebounds) look like players. Jones even had a ridiculous one-handed putdown on Andre Drummond‘s face that lit a fire under the Orlando Magic bench … In other preseason action: Kevin Love had a typical 24 and eight in a blowout win over Maccabi Haifa, but Brandon Roy (19 points) looked especially spry in Minnesota, while Utah obliterated the Lakers by 34 despite 23 third-quarter points from Kobe (31 in the game) … And apparently, the Pelicans is one of the front runners for the possible name change for the New Orleans Hornets (an old city baseball team was named the Pelicans). We’re not feeling it at all, but it can’t get much worse than the “Spirit” can it? … Keep reading to hear about Nate Robinson’s big night …

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