Is Paul Pierce a Hall of Famer?
 



KIRK MINIHANE

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Having survived an epic first-round series with the Bulls, the Celtics now face an Orlando team that’s much different in terms of style, temperament and expectations than Chicago. If the Bulls were playing as if there was nothing to lose and everything to gain, the Magic will have tremendous pressure to break through and advance to the conference finals against the wounded Celtics.



Eddie House took the ball and flung it to the Garden rafters and by the time it reached the floor everyone went about trying to put the whole thing into perspective. After seven games, four of which went into overtime, what exactly was this series between the Celtics and the Bulls?

Was it the greatest ever, or does a playoff series have to be much deeper than the first round to earn that distinction?



Only hours earlier, Joakim Noah lashed out against Kevin Garnett.

“I don’t care about him at all. I don’t care about him at all,” Noah said roughly an hour before the tip-off of the decisive seventh game. “He used to be my favorite player. Not my favorite player any more.”



JESSICA CAMERATO

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Another half an inch and his performance would have been heroic. Unfortunately for Ray Allen, his efforts were outweighed by a one-point triple-overtime loss.
 
“Those inches,” he said, “just took that bucket away.”
 
With his foot barely touching the line, Allen's long-range jumper in double overtime was ruled a two.-point field goal. There is no way of knowing if the game would have ended differently had he taken just one step back. All that is certain is that win or lose, Allen put on a show.



JESSICA CAMERATO

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Words fail. After six games and seven overtimes what more could possibly be said about this series? That it’s the greatest first round series in the history of the NBA? Well, yeah.
 
That it’s the most competitive series in the history of basketball? Probably so.
 



For most of the 2008-09 season, people have been struggling to define just how fast Rajon Rondo actually is.

It is known, for example, that there is no one in the NBA who can stay in front of him on a consistent basis. It was suggested, by Rondo himself, that he could beat Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt in the 100 meters. It’s taken 82 games, five more in the playoffs and four overtime periods before we could definitively answer the question, but here it is: Rajon Rondo is fast enough to save a season in 94 seconds.



Put more time on the clock. The Celtics could do this all night.

After playing an NBA-record third overtime game in a postseason series, they were ready for more. Understaffed and overworked, they still weren’t phased by the extended minutes they have played in the first round against the Chicago Bulls.



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Don't blame it on Paul Pierce's missed three-pointer.
 
Don't put it all on Glen Davis' offensive struggles.

 
Don't point the finger at Kendrick Perkins' six fouls.
 



JESSICA CAMERATO

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There were more than enough 'what if’s' in the aftermath of the Celtics double-overtime loss to the Bulls Sunday afternoon in Game 4 of their first-round series. What if Paul Pierce had made both of his free throws at the end of the first overtime? What if the Celtics had been able to foul Ben Gordon instead of allowing him to get a 3-pointer? What if Brad Miller had been thrown out?