1. Paul Pierce is the NBA’s most entertaining provocateur.
A classic love-him-or-hate him player, no one riles up crowds, whether home or away, with more glee. The key to his success is that he’s actually good. A lot of mediocre or worse players try to raise their profile by jabbering and goading, but Pierce walks the walk in addition to talking the talk. Which makes him all the more agitating to opposing fans. You WILL lose to Paul Pierce’s team, and he’ll make sure you remember it.
2. And last night he was at it again, shoulder-checking LeBron on a fast break — in the preseason! — and afterward calling it an intentional “message to the league” about how the Nets are going to play defense.
5. Our verdict: if LeBron’s gonna come inside he’s gonna have to bring it strong (note: LeBron is very capable of bringing it strong), Brooklyn is going to be ON THE MAP this year, and Paul Pierce is our dude. Let’s go Nets!
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