Paul Pierce Expresses Biggest Concern for Celtics During Their Title Chase

Boston Celtics

Getty The Boston Celtics are headed to their third straight conference finals.

The Boston Celtics cruised through the regular season, earning the top seed in the Eastern Conference before April. Through two series in the postseason, they have gone 8-2 and became the first team to earn a berth in the conference finals.

Former Celtics stars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett talked about Boston’s success during a May episode of “KG Certified.” Pierce spoke about how good the Celtics have been this season, but he did admit that he was concerned about one part of Boston’s quest to bring home Banner 18.

Paul Pierce Concerned About the Celtics In a Close Game

Pierce recognizes how good the Celtics are. Although the Celtics haven’t played their best basketball this postseason, Pierce said they are so deep that they don’t have to play a perfect game to pull out a victory. He’s impressed with how well the team is doing with their star, Jayson Tatum, struggling with his outside shot.

“They so good that they don’t have to be great for them to win,” Pierce told Garnett. “We got so many good players, so many great players. Derrick White coming into his rhythm. (Jaylen) Brown coming into his rhythm.

“Tatum, you know, his shots come and go. He’s doing other things, though. He’s rebounding and he’s defending, playmaking. The shot’s gonna come. He’s doing so many other things that the shot’s not getting him discouraged. That’s maturity, and that’s what I see.”

Pierce said he likes all the pieces the Celtics have. His biggest concern is how the team will respond if they play in a close game. All but one of Boston’s postseason victories have been by double digits.

“The only concern I have for the Celtics is when they finally get into a situation where they play a tight game,” Pierce said. “They ain’t had a lot of tight games, a lot of adversity. They gotta figure it out when it’s a one- or two-point game with a minute left. They gotta figure it out.”

The Celtics Await Their Next Opponent

The Celtics reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the third straight year after making quick work of the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games in the conference semis.

They’ll face either the New York Knicks or the Indiana Pacers. New York holds a 3-2 series lead as that series heads to Game 6 in Indiana on Friday, May 17.

Pierce loves where the Celtics stand because they’re playing so well with their star not producing like he normally does. He knows that Tatum will break out soon and make the Celtics even more dangerous.

“I feel like when his time comes, he’s gonna break out,” Pierce said. “There’s nothing I really worried about there because they so good that he don’t have to be the guy every night. That’s the good part.”

While the Celtics are the favorite to win the 2024 NBA Finals, they still have plenty to prove. They haven’t won anything in the Tatum/Brown era. They blew a 2-1 series lead to the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals. The were blown out at home by the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the conference finals in 2023.

The door is wide open for the Celtics to bring home their first championship since 2008.

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