Former Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce believes that he was a “bucket.” As far Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro, not so much.
Appearing on ESPN’s First Take on Monday, Pierce gave his bold take as to why Herro hasn’t earned the definitive title just yet.
“Imma tell you something though, he can shoot, he got a nice IQ and an array of moves, but I can’t call nobody a ‘bucket’ if you ain’t averaging at least 20 points per game…for the course of an NBA season,” Pierce said on ESPN’s NBA Countdown. “If you average 11…I can’t give you ‘I’m a bucket’ because you get a couple buckets on the big stage.”
He added: “I love that these guys are making a name for themselves in the bubble, but I’m just wondering how these games would effect you if you were in the [TD] Garden, on the road and going out there and giving them 37 in a hostile environment. That has yet to be seen.”
Leave it to Paul Pierce to rain on Tyler Herro’s playoff performance pic.twitter.com/OsrKY7WPSL
— Brendan Tobin (@Brendan_Tobin) September 26, 2020
Jalen Rose interrupted Pierce, and playfully called him out for projecting his own career with the Celtics into the conversation.
“Woah! Woah! You saw what he just became, a Celtic with his number retired. Oh, ‘How well would he have done in the Garden?'” Rose said with a chuckle.
“There’s a difference, I’m telling you,” Pierce said, adding: “I love what [Herro] is doing, he had a great game and I love everything he’s doing. But, I need a bigger sample size before I start giving out nicknames and doing all this other stuff.”
“I mean I average more than 11, first of all, and I think I average like 20 in the Eastern Conference Finals,” he said.
Herro is onto something there. He averaged 13.5 points per game during the regular season and 16.5 points in the postseason. Against the Celtics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, Herro was electric and dropped 37 points on 14-of-21 shooting in the Heat’s 112-109 win.
On Sunday, Herro scored another 19 points, with five assists, in the Heat’s 125-113 victory in Game 6 to advance them to the NBA Finals against the Lakers.
Check out his response below (at the 8:58 min mark):