Now that it's the postseason, Paul Pierce is watching more basketball and that's especially true for the Atlanta Hawks-Brooklyn Nets series that's tied at 2. Pierce's one season in Brooklyn was miserable last year and he recently was critical of the lack of fire and commitment by point guard Deron Williams. He didn't hide from his comments made earlier this month which he believes were constructively critical.
"I watch more now than I can in the regular season. You like to look at those games and kind of scout knowing that one of these teams is a team that you're going to play. I'm watching closely," Pierce said before addressing Williams, who had 35 points in a Game 4 overtime victory vs. Atlanta on Monday. "I think it's great. I know that's what he's capable of. That's probably why I said a lot of things I said because I know what Deron Williams is capable of. The player you saw last night, that's what you expect out of him. It's all a mind-set. You got to go out there and will yourself every night, I believe."
Pierce has taken to this inspirational thing. He's largely credited for giving the Wizards an attitude and edge that resulted in a four-game sweep of the Toronto Raptors, the first time that has happened in franchise history. Pierce attended Game 7 of the Washington Capitals' Game 7 win vs. the New York Islanders on Monday, too. He had one of the best seats at Verizon Center and is relishing his role as the spirit of D.C.
"I got some coaching because I never sat that close before so they said when a player comes close to the window you're supposed to hit the window. So I was doing as the Romans do," he said. "When you play for a city you become part of it. You become one with the fans. You always run into all the other sports players. I always see those guys in there in the weight room or in passing. It's easy to support."
Pierce trolled rap artist Drake, the Raptors' "global ambassador," on social media after his team was eliminated Sunday. Before the series began, Pierce said the Raptors lacked the "it" factor even though they were the higher seed with an All-Star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.
"I just look at it as good banter," he said. "A lot of this stuff I don't pre-think it. It just comes out naturally."
Then, he resorted to third-person speak.
"Paul Pierce is going to be who Paul Pierce is going to be," Paul Pierce said. "I'm going to be myself. It wasn't like they said come in here and be a hype man, be a leader. I'm being myself. If it helps our team, if it hurts our team, I'm just trying to be myself and see how it goes. That's all it is. I'm a vocal person. I speak up. I tell the guys how I feel. I'm emotional. That's just me being me -- truthfully."
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