Give me a break here... the only reason this is even being debated, is because the Celtics won, and Pierce was the most consistent player (NOT even necessarily the best player) on the team that won it all. This whole back and forth thing with comparing players to players CANT be decided by championships. And Dirk vs Pierce is no exception.
First off, before the trades last year, is all this hype about Pierce vs Dirk even in discussion? Hardly.
2nd, if you could have one or the other, who would you take? Pierce or Garnett? Sure, in wake of Garnett just choking through the playoffs with Pierce picking up the slack, that answer is easy. Before last season though? Pierce was good, but he's not the Big Ticket.
3rd. He is this years Dwayne Wade. He's not overrated like Wade is, but he's headed that way. Wheelchair and all. With out Garnett behind him, there is no trophy. Just like Wade and Shaq, and Kobe and Shaq.
All these guys are good, maybe even great, but are they what we are making them out to be? Is Nash the same with out Amare AND Marion? Are they the type of players that we can label with the likes of Shaq, Duncan, and Shaq?
Who did Jordan have behind him if he got beat? Rodman? Longley? Brian Williams. This guy goes on to say that Pierce's defense alone, gives him the nod over Dirk. Ok fine, there is no doubt in my mind that relative to their positions, Pierce is hands down the better the defender. But dont over emphasize the effect of having the likes of Garnett behind you to help defend... much like Bowen has with Duncan. Having Dampier behind you cant even compare to having Duncan or Garnett behind you.
Steve, the guy who wrote this pro-Pierce article, goes on to say this...
But it was Paul Pierce whose all-around game made him a late-game killer of a closer, the Finals MVP and a huge part of the heart and soul of a championship team. Dirk Nowitzki doesn't have that yet, and speaking of heart and soul, the jury still appears to be out on that for him.
"Late-game killer"? Maybe.... I think though that I'd debate that mentality in game 5, I believe it was.
My point is with all this, when putting this argument into perspective, Pierce had the best players around him this year. Its just yet another feel good story that everyone wants to hear about. Much like Nash was. I'm not saying these guys are really, really, really good... they arent up there with Shaqs, Jordans, Birds, and Duncans. Dirk isnt either, by any means. But he still does more with less than with these other guys... and I'll argue that all day.
Before this season, and possibly through out the season, I think you could EASILY debate that Garnett was the top guy on the team. But we all know Garnett disappears come playoff time, and give credit to Pierce for picking up the pieces in this regard. But don't give him Garnett, Allen, and a Larry O'Brian trophy and tell me he is all the sudden better than Dirk because of HIS defense and his "late-game killer of a closer" mentality.