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Paul Pierce thriving as Nets starting power forward, change in position to extend career? [VIDEO]

By Jay Cortez
on Mar 09, 2014 09:47 AM EDT
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Paul Pierce
Brooklyn Nets F Paul Pierce. (Photo : Reuters)

Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce is now being used as a power forward more than his traditional small forward role, and surprisingly is thriving in his new position.

Since he was moved to the 'four' spot in line with the Nets' small ball line-up, Pierce has steadily increased his Player Efficiency Rating (PER) to 16.1, which is significantly better than his 13.6 when he was the Nets' starting small forward according to Probasketballtalk.nbc.sports.com.

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And defending bigger players has not become an issue for Pierce despite his 6'7 frame. The same website reports that Pierce has held his opponents to a surprising 35.3 percent field goal shooting. He is also forcing them to a turnover in one out of four possessions.

Nets center Mason Plumlee says of Pierce's defense:  "He's always telling us how he can lock everybody up that tries to post him up. He's done that, pretty much."

The Nets small ball line up has rejuvenated the squad after starting the season a woeful 10-21. With the injury to star center Brook Lopez, coach Jason Kidd turned to small ball basketball that has given the team a 20-9 record this year.

Pierce has adapted well to the change of position, saying about the small ball-style of play: "That's our style. It's no secret. We're a small team. We don't rebound well. We force turnovers. We shoot 3s."

Coach Kidd, meanwhile, paid tribute to Pierce's basketball IQ, saying: "It's not about being a four. He's a basketball player. So, he's out there taking advantage of maybe a bigger guy. But his basketball IQ is extremely high, so he knows how to play no matter what position he's in."

Should Pierce continue playing power forward? Tell us @SportsWN.

 

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