Paul Pierce sees a lot of his game in Luka Doncic … for some reason.
The NBA viewing public has grown accustomed to former greats becoming TV broadcasters and talking heads, which usually leads to them saying some unruly, outrageous things from time to time. Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and now Paul Pierce are usually the worst perpetrators in that respect, and now Pierce has added to his resume.
“He got a lot of me in him,” he said. “Me and him got a lot in common.”
Paul Pierce thinks his game has a lot in common with Luka Doncic
In Pierce’s defense, he may be on to something when it comes to how they move on the floor, with herky-jerky movements that are fundamentally sound but won’t necessarily blow anyone away when it comes to athleticism or burst. Pierce was an incredibly clever player when it came to getting his step-back off and the rigid body fakes that threw defenders off — two areas where Doncic similarly excels.
However, outside of that, it’s hard to find too many similarities, unless Pierce is coming out and admitting he wasn’t a very great defender either.
Doncic spearheaded the most high-powered offense in NBA history last year; Pierce was a good isolation scorer, but he peaked at 26.1 points per game over 19 seasons in the league — scoring averages Luka already surpassed in just his second NBA season when he averaged 28.8 points per game last year. He’ll likely do so again this season, as he’s putting up 27.6 points per game through the Mavs’ first seven games despite his 3-point shooting woes.
That’s another area where Pierce and Doncic largely differ: Through two seasons and change, the Slovenian sensation has only converted on 31.6 percent of his 3s. Pierce, despite never reaching the lofty individual heights Doncic’s career trajectory seems to be heading toward, was much more efficient in this respect, hitting 36.8 percent of his triples.
Finally, Doncic is a far more gifted playmaker than Pierce ever was in his prime. The Truth averaged 3.5 assists per game for his career and peaked at 5.1 assists per game for a Celtics team that finished with a 36-46 record that season. Luka, meanwhile, has averaged 6.0 assists, 8.8 assists and 8.0 assists per game through his first three seasons. He may become the third player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season, so outside of the way they move with the ball in their hands, Pierce comparing himself to Doncic is laughable.