HH Tournament: (3) Paul Pierce vs (14) Ed Macauley


Paul Pierce and Ed Macauley will be the next matchup in the Hardwood Houdini Tournament

Nate “Tiny” Archibald gave Dave Cowens a run for his money, but Cowens was eventually able to sneak by his former teammate and make it to the second round. Cowens will take on Kevin Garnett in Round Two. The next matchup in Round One on Side B consists of Paul Pierce, one of Garnett’s teammates, and Ed Macauley.

Don’t forget that this is based solely off their playing careers with the Boston Celtics. Any coaching or front office experience shouldn’t be taken into account, neither should their collegiate careers or any other NBA teams they may have played for.

Paul Pierce – 10x All-Star

21.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.4 SPG

15 Seasons with Boston, 1x Champion, 10x All-Star

Paul Pierce was the tenth pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, teaming up with Antoine Walker early in his career. Pierce joined the Celtics during one of the darkest eras in their franchise’s history. Boston, the team with the most championships in NBA history, was on one of their longest championship droughts ever. Pierce added hope, and eventually a championship.

Despite never winning any major awards with Boston, Pierce was as dominating of a small forward as they came. He was an elite scorer on team that didn’t have much outside of him. Plus, Pierce was an elite defender, as well as a solid contributor on the glass.

Pierce’s top-notch scoring led him to averaging at least 20 points per game in eight of nine seasons from 2000-09, including over 25 points per night in three straight seasons early in his career. Even though Pierce averaged 25.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game in his third season, it took until year-four for him to make his first All-Star team – 26.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.9 steals.

It sparked a run of five straight All-Star appearances before it got snapped due to an injury that held Pierce to just 47 games in 2006-07, but he followed it up with five more All-Star appearances.

Pierce was able to lead the Celtics as far as one man could, but never got to the Finals before Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were traded for. Even then, it was Pierce’s team. In his lone championship season, that ended a 22-year drought, he averaged 19.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. In the postseason, Pierce added 19.7 points, five rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.1 steals, including a Finals MVP.

There are few players in franchise history that meant more to the Celtics’ franchise than Pierce did. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team, four All-NBA Teams and is a borderline top-five player in franchise history, but bringing the Celtics back to relevance was his biggest accomplishment.

Pierce is all over the Celtics leaderboard. He ranks first in points, threes made and steals, third in games and minutes played, fourth in blocks, fifth in assists and seventh in rebounds.

Since the Larry Bird days, there hasn’t been a better or more important Celtic than Paul Pierce. He’s this era’s greatest Celtic, and it’s not even that close.

Ed Macauley – 1960 Hall of Fame Inductee

18.9 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 3.7 APG

6 Seasons with Boston, 6x All-Star, #22 Retired by Celtics

Perhaps Ed Macauley will be most known as the guy who the Boston Celtics traded away to acquire Bill Russell. While that is the biggest contribution he made to the Celtics, he was still a very good player on the court. In fact, he made the All-Star team every season he was with the Celtics and was selected to four straight All-NBA Teams, as well.

Macauley made three straight All-NBA First Teams from 1950-53, his first three seasons with Boston after being selected in the 1950 NBA Dispersal Draft. Macauley averaged at least 19 points per game in all three seasons and just under a double-double.

He was one of the most efficient scorers of his time. He led the league in field-goal percentage for two consecutive seasons, which included him shooting 48.6 percent in 1953-54.

While not as dominating of a rebounder as Bill Russell, Macauley was constantly near a double-double. He was a better offensive player than Russell, although his 18.9 points per game with the Celtics was eerily similar to Russell’s 15.1 points per night when he played.

Despite never winning a championship with the Celtics, Macauley did lead Boston to the playoffs all six seasons with the team. His numbers did decline, though, to just 15.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. While Macauley did average 22 points and nine rebounds during his first postseason appearance, and 23.3 points and 11 rebounds during his second appearance, he rarely got out of the first round – twice in six tries.

Macauley still ranks fourth in minutes per game (38.5 minutes per game as a center) and sixth in points per game in Celtics history.

Ed Macauley was a 6-8 center who is overlooked in history because he played right before Bill Russell dominated with the Celtics. While he wasn’t Bill Russell, he still gave the Celtics six solid seasons as one of the best centers in the game.

Don’t forget to vote on Twitter @HoudiniCeltics! The poll is up for 20 hours. Comments on here don’t count as votes, only the poll on Twitter will be looked at to determine who goes on to round two.

Next: Top Ten Point Guards in the NBA

Also, look at tomorrow’s match-up to see the results from today’s showdown.