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BOSTON (CBS) – The Celtics and 76ers take their playoff series to Philadelphia with things all tied at a game apiece.
Paul Pierce is battling an MCL Sprain, and it’s showing on the floor. The Celtics captain was just 2-for-9 in Boston’s Game 2 loss, and is shooting just 5-for-20 in the series.
Comcast SportsNet New England’s Gary Tanguay joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich Wednesday morning, and said not having Pierce at 100% is not an excuse, but it certainly is having an impact on the series.
“Pierce’s injury has a huge impact on this series; it just does,” said Tanguay. “I’m not saying it’s an excuse, it’s a reason. If Pierce is healthy, this series is over.”
“What I would do with Pierce is I’d change his game; which I know is probably tough to do and probably tough to tell a finals MVP,” said Tanguay. “But you have to say, ‘Paul, that leg is not right. You need to pass the ball; every time you get the ball you have to find KG. If you’re going to anything offensively, you have to go low on the blocks and try to post everyone up.’”
“The jump shot is not working; he’s front rimming everything because he’s playing on one leg,” said Tanguay. “Pierce can go to the line, but he shouldn’t take jump shots.”
With a hobbled Pierce, the Celtics have to establish someone else as their primary scorer. Kevin Garnett has those honors in Game 1, but that was not the case in Game 2. KG needs to command the ball Wednesday night in Philadelphia, something he should have done on Monday.
“The thing that was frustrating about Game 2 is that Brandon Bass was taking all the shots. KG had four shots by the third quarter,” said Tanguay. “KG is yelling at Doc to give him the ball, he needs to go to the players and grab them by the scruff of the neck and say ‘give me the ball.’ That’s what they need to do tonight.”
Also, does the shortened season have anything to do with all the injuries in the playoffs? What is with Lebron James passing up another shot at the end of a game? And does Tanguay think the Celtics have a shot at Banner 18?