For the fifth time in seven seasons, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are set to face LeBron James in the postseason.
Having gone 2-2 in four memorable Playoff wars – Pierce and KG’s Boston Celtics beat LeBron’s Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008 and 2010, and lost to LBJ’s Miami Heat in 2011 and 2012 – both veterans say they relish this latest opportunity to knock King James off his throne.
Per the NY Post:
“Yeah, it’s seeming like that, eh?” Garnett said “It seems like we’re seeing [Dwyane Wade] and LeBron for the last past seven, eight years. That’s what it is, man, the best is playing the best.”
“I rank LeBron as one of the greatest players to ever play the game. A tremendous athlete … he’s already passed so many greats that we still talk about,” said Pierce. “When you play against the best, as a competitor, you want those moments. All great competitors in this league, they want to play against the other best and see where they are, see how they measure up throughout history. When you play against the best like LeBron, it brings out the best, I think, in everyone.”
“In any sport when you are a great competitor — and I consider myself a great competitor who wants to be in those moments,” Pierce said, providing a laundry list of tough assignments: James, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady. “You want those moments. What can I say? His résumé speaks for itself. Right now he’s the best player in the league. You are always looking for that challenge and he’s the ultimate challenge.”
The Brooklyn Nets swept the season series against the Miami Heat, winning three games by a single point, and another victory requiring double-overtime. But, as we all know, those results mean little in the Playoffs.
Miami is well-rested after sweeping the Charlotte Bobcats in Round One, while Brooklyn just survived a seven-game dogfight with the Toronto Raptors.
One gets the feeling that LeBron is looking forward to the opportunity to once again take down Pierce and Garnett with equal zeal.