All of this to say, he has a lot of mileage on his body. He’s not the athletic freak that he once was, and when players start giving in to old age, typically their defense is one of the first things that goes. A skill like rebounding, in which understanding the physics of where the ball will go is more important than anything, or shooting, which is often the product of tens upon thousands of reps, can stick around a long, long time. But on defense, even if you understand what your man wants to do with the ball, you still have to have the quick feet, strong body and timing to deny them. And there is nothing old age takes away like quick feet and a strong body.
There is no shame in getting beat by Joe Johnson. He is an elite scorer, and capable of going off on anybody. Granted, you probably don’t want to fall on your knees when a guy is dribbling by you, but it happens to the best of us.
Unfortunately for Pierce, that was his second display of embarrassing defense of the week. And on the first one he didn’t get crossed up by Kevin Durant or Paul Pierce. No, the man who legitimately made me think that Pierce might’ve sprained an ankle was Jameer Nelson. Uh-oh.