Meet the New Guys

They’re in. Are you?

2) Paul Pierce

Hello Brooklyn. I’m #34, Paul Pierce, 2008 NBA Finals MVP and former… Kansas Jayhawk.

Pierce recently told TMZ that he could play ten more years in the league. People laughed, because, you know, he’s 35-years-old and that is a crazy thought.

But when you look at what Pierce has done these last few seasons with the Boston Celtics, he, like Garnett, has stayed pretty consistent.

Since joining forces with Garnett in 2007, Pierce has put up point-per-game averages of 19.6, 20.5, 18.3, 18.9, 19.4 and 18.6. While there was a one point drop-off last season, most of this was because Pierce had to take command of Boston’s offense after Rajon Rondo went down.

Playing 77 games at 33.4 minutes per, Pierce still put up fantastic numbers at his age, which, again, is trend that is expected to continue in Brooklyn.

One way that Pierce will be a welcome addition to the Nets is in playing alongside Iso-Joe Johnson.

As we all know, Avery and PJ ran isolation-heavy offenses with the Nets, something that stalled flow and frustrated fans every night. Former Celtics coach Doc Rivers didn’t run his offense like this, and Pierce flourished in the heavy-ball-movement system.

Just look at his iso and pick-and-roll numbers in comparison to Joe, all per Synergy.

Last season, Joe Johnson spent 28% of his plays in isolation. Paul Pierce? 15.2%

Last season, Joe Johnson spent 5% of his plays as the pick-and-roll ball handler. Pick-and-rolls were almost never ran through him, despite the fact that he led the second-team offense. Pierce? 13.6%. His role increased after Rondo went down.

Last season, Joe Johnson took spot-up jump shots 24% of the time, while 11.6% came off screens. Pierce? 18.6% and 15.3%, respectively.

Pierce is clearly a more mobile off-ball offensive player, and more oriented in plays and running them. Hopefully, this is something that will rub off on Joe, especially as Kidd preaches about quitting the iso-offense.

Defensively, Pierce is no Garnett, but can be a solid wing defender. The good news, his limitations are almost completely made up for with the addition of Andrei Kirilenko. Isn’t the offseason great?

Next: Andrei Kirilenko