Pierce's Nets on brink of elimination vs. Chalmers' Heat
Well, that didn't exactly go as planned.
After much was made of Brooklyn veteran Paul Pierce requesting Miami überstar LeBron James as his defensive assignment, the four-time NBA MVP torched the nets and the Nets in Game 4 Monday night for 49 points on 16-for-24 shooting.
As you would imagine, Pierce became a popular Twitter target in the aftermath of Miami's 102-96 win, which put Brooklyn in a 3-1 hole in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Pierce, who scored 16 points in the loss, wasn't the only Net who couldn't as much as slow down the unstoppable James. NBA.com/stats showed LeBron scored 11 while being guarded one-on-one by the Kansas University product. James made 3 of 5 shots, 1 of 2 3-pointers, drew four fouls and drove to the paint twice versus The Truth.
Still, Pierce, a longtime rival of James at this point, had to be disappointed that he couldn't lead the charge in containing the force that is LeBron.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated noted a few reasons why Pierce never would buddy up with The King:
James's constant complaining irks Pierce, as does his belief, league sources say, that James once tried to recruit Doc Rivers to Cleveland when Rivers was coaching the Celtics.
“I really don’t care what Paul has to say. We don’t really get involved in that."
Game 4 was a difficult, potentially back-breaking loss for Brooklyn.
But Pierce, as quoted by Andrew Keh of The New York Times, hasn't lost all hope.
“We’ve just got to get one game. That’s the mind-set. The series is far from over. We’ve got to go down there, try to get one game and force the series back home.”
The Nets are on the brink of elimination, in part, due to a timely pass from KU product Mario Chalmers, who dished one of his seven assists in the final minute to Chris Bosh for a 3-pointer.
Chalmers, who had made 2 of 3 bombs of his own and scored 8 points, passed up a shot for an even better look.
The Heat will try to close out the series in Game 5 Wednesday night at Miami (6 p.m., TNT).
— Keep up with the production of all the 'Hawks in the NBA daily at KUsports.com.
— Follow @BentonASmith on Twitter.