Welcome to TD Garden, where the Boston Celtics will take on the Milwaukee Bucks at 8 p.m. (note the late start time for national television).
Von Wafer, Semih Erden, Luke Harangody, and director of basketball development Tyronn Lue just finished a game of 2-on-2. Lue and Erden were paired together and beat Wafer and Harangody, 4-3. On the other side of the court, Paul Pierce was watching intently and offering encouragement.
Pierce was doing his own meticulous warm-up. On the court, it often looks like Pierce is making it up as he goes along, his herky-jerky hesitation moves leading to step-back jumpers. Pierce’s game is based on balance, but it’s also based on repetition.
This afternoon, the Celtics captain spent about 15 minutes working on two specific shots. On the first, Pierce caught the ball at the foul line, spun, dribbled, and put up a jump shot from that in-between 9-to-11-foot range that most players hate. Pierce repeated the move maybe 20 times and didn’t miss once.
On the second shot, Pierce caught the ball at the elbow a little further out, dribbled, spun, and put up a jumper off glass. His footwork, every time, was impeccable. Over and over, Pierce pirouetted the same way, as if coming off a pick. He never took a wrong step, and he never missed.
More to come from the Garden tonight. I’ve been told Kevin Garnett will address his situation with Charlie Villanueva after tonight’s game. Don’t expect him to talk beforehand, though Doc Rivers might weigh in before the tip.