BOSTON – A quick look at our advanced stats tool will tell you that Paul Pierce shot 55 percent this season with Andre Iguodala on the floor.
That’s not exactly a bullet point for Iguodala’s All-Defensive Team resume, nor is it a positive for the Sixers as they prepare for Game 1 of the conference semifinals (8 p.m. ET, TNT).
But a deeper look into Pierce’s numbers show that Iguodala does a pretty good job of holding Pierce in check.
Over the last five years (since Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett arrived in Boston), Pierce has shot 49.8 percent from the field and 45.3 percent from 3-point range in 591 minutes with Iguodala on the floor. Both of those numbers are better than Pierce’s overall numbers in that time. But the percentages don’t tell the whole story.
Against Iguodala, Pierce doesn’t get as many shots or trips to the line…
Paul Pierce, last five seasons
|with Iguodala on floor||203||49.8%||45.3%||68||88.2%||12.4||4.1||17.7|
Over the last five years, only three teams have held Pierce to fewer shots per 36 minutes than the Sixers have. And no team has held him to fewer free throw attempts per 36 minutes than Philly has.
Paul Pierce, fewest free throw attempts per 36 minutes, last five seasons
Pierce/Iguodala is the best matchup in the series. And if Iguodala can keep Pierce in check, the Celtics may have to look elsewhere for the bulk of their offense.