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John Havlicek says Paul Pierce is the best one-on-one player of all Celtics

Sep 8, 2013, 8:00 PM EDT

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Paul Pierce has solidified his position as one of the all-time greatest Celtics, having finished his 15-year career in Boston at or near the top of the team’s leader board in most of the major statistical categories.

Pierce is the team leader in three-pointers made and attempted and free throws made and attempted, and is top-three in field goals made and attempted.

That’s a lot of historically great offense created while playing for one of the game’s most storied franchises, and another of the team’s best to ever wear the jersey, John Havlicek, believes that Pierce was the team’s best one-on-one player of all time.

From Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:

Havlicek said Pierce ranks highly among the Celtics’ greats.

“That’s what free agency does, it doesn’t allow you to have that continuity,” Havlicek said about Pierce’s departure. “We never made a trade in 10 years (with the Celtics) and all the people remained the same. It’s a lot different today but I wish him well. He’s one of the best all-around players and the thing I marveled at was his one-on-one ability. I think he’s the best one-on-one player of all Celtics.”

Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and even Havlicek himself — Boston’s leading scorer in franchise history — all have legitimate cases to stake their claim to that title.

But there’s no question that Pierce’s ability to score or get to the line with the ball in his hands is special, and worthy of consideration among those all-time, Hall of Fame greats.

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