Paul Pierce/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
Paul Pierce, 38, is having the worst shooting season of his long and, eventually, Hall of Fame career. Pierce has a career shooting percentage of 44.6 percent. He’s shooting 33.6 percent this season; his previous low was 40.2 in 2003-03 with Boston.
Pierce has shot 36.9 percent from 3-point range for his 18-year career, but he’s at 30.6 percent right now. He hasn’t shot that poorly from distance since ’03-’04, when he shot 29.9 percent – his worst ever.
“I think maybe it has to do with my age,” Pierce said, smiling.
His age is an issue. It’s why he’s only averaging a career-low 17.5 minutes, nearly nine minutes less than this past season when he was with Washington.
“Yeah, I’m sure that has something to do with it,” coach Doc Rivers said. “He puts in the time and the work, but I know he can shoot and I feel like when you need him to make a shot, for the most part he’ll make shots.
“But his minutes have gone down each year over the last three or four years. Usually, statistically, especially guys who play a lot, when their minutes start
dwindling, their field-goal percentage struggles a little bit, too.”
Pierce understands why his minutes are down, suggesting his age and the way the team is structured mandates that. His main concern is “just to be rested enough going into the playoffs because that’s where I feel my value is going to be felt the most.”