Thursday, March 23, 2023

Paul Pierce blames Celtics' recent slump on 'regular-season boredom'

Don't count Paul Pierce as one that is worried when it comes to the Celtics' recent struggles with the playoffs just around the corner.

Boston, before their impressive 132-109 victory over a surging Sacramento Kings team, had blown double-digit leads in three of the last six games on their most recent road trip -- which resulted in two disappointing losses to the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz, plus a near defeat against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

While both losses against the Rockets and Jazz were decided on a final play to close out the game, the Celtics were 7-6 since the All-Star break entering Tuesday's matchup in Sacramento.

Pierce joined NBC Sports Boston prior to tip-off with former teammates Eddie House (C's) and Matt Barnes (Clippers) to discuss why he isn't hitting that panic button just yet on the Celtics and their championship chances.
"I think their slump has a lot to do with just regular-season boredom," Pierce told House on Celtics Pregame Live. "They want the playoffs to be here. But they've got to understand there's a process to all of this. I think they're starting to play down to the level of their opponents. But hey, you've got to play through the finish line, stop playing to the level of your opponents, and get to the playoffs but get to the playoffs doing the things you do best and playing the right way and winning some ballgames."
Barnes also gave his opinion on Boston's play as of late, despite being dominate in the first half of the season.
"I just think they're complacent. I agree," Barnes said. "They know they have one of the best teams in the league. They've shown during the season they're the best team in the NBA and arguably one of the deepest, so I think like Paul said, they've just got to get over the finish line and get to the playoffs."
With nine games left to play, the Celtics at 50-23 find themselves 2.5 behind the East leading Milwaukee Bucks (52-20) for the best record in the conference. Both teams will face off against each other come March 30 at Fiserv Forum with the season tie-breaker on the line -- in case they happen to finish the regular season with identical records.

In the meantime, Boston returns to TD Garden fresh off a 4-2 road trip to host the Indiana Pacers. NBA TV has the tip-off at 7:00 ET.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

No comments:

Post a Comment