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Should the Celtics keep going to Paul Pierce's go-to shot?

Apr 9, 2010, 5:54 PM EDT

It’s a shot that every NBA fan has come to recognize. If the game is on the line and the Celtics have the ball, Paul Pierce is likely to go right and utilize his signature step-back jumper from the elbow. It’s a shot Pierce can get whenever he wants, and he’s been successful with it in the past.

However, Brian Robb of Celtics Hub is of the opinion that the Celtics are relying too heavily on isolation sets for Pierce late in games. Here’s an excerpt:
“If I’m a Celtics fan, I still don’t want Pierce taking that shot 100 percent of the time, since
1) The other team knows it is coming
2) Paul Pierce is shooting in the mid 30′s from anywhere inside the arc. That’s not a high percentage shot.
So Doc Rivers, I implore you, take the ball out of your Captain’s hands at the end of games, if all you are going to be running are isolations. I still want to see Pierce involved in these end of games plays, but I want to see him getting to the hoop, or dishing the ball to Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, or (gasp) Michael Finley for an outside jumper. As of right now, there are plenty better outside shooters than Paul Pierce on this team. Here’s a thought.
Use them.”

Like almost every NBA team, the Celtics don’t use as much ball movement as they should with the game on the line. Contested jump shots are really hard to make, especially when the defense knows they’re coming. In general, teams are better off using the sets they used to score points for the first 47.5 minutes of the game and attempting to get an open jumper or a shot at the rim instead of sitting back and praying their best scorer will play the hero. (Note: that does not apply to Kobe Bryant this season. He is a scary, scary man.) 

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