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Paul Pierce is playing more like Ray Allen this season

Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics reacts after missing two free throws and taking a foul in the closing minutes of his game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center on November 15, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. The Nets defeated the Celtics 102-97. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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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.