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Paul Pierce is playing more like Ray Allen this season

Nov 25, 2012, 1:31 PM EDT

Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets Getty Images

Maybe the answer to the question “how are the Celtics going to replace Ray Allen?” was always there, we just didn’t expect it.

How about a little Paul Pierce.

If you’ve watched some Celtics games this season you have seen Pierce, a shot creator for most of his career, working more off the ball coming off picks. Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com went to Synergy Sports and looked up the numbers.

This is the percentage of Pierce’s shots that came from him coming off a screen:

2009-10: 5.5%
2010-11: 9.5%
2011-12: 14%
2012-13: 22.1%

With that, the percentage of his shots that have come as a pure spot-up shooter and the shots he has had to create for himself in isolation are both at four-year lows.

Pierce also is scoring 1.02 points per possession coming off screens, which is a good number.

Pierce is not exactly 25 anymore, so the key is to get him good looks that he doesn’t (or in some ways can’t) get anymore the way he did for much of his career. Boston has found that, and while not Ray Allen numbers (35 percent of his shots came off screens last year) this is a great alternative.

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