Stackhouse praises Pierce signing, 'best' backcourt in East

Stackhouse praises Pierce signing, 'best' backcourt in East
July 18, 2014, 12:15 pm
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(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

LAS VEGAS -- Jerry Stackhouse knows something about longevity. The ex-Wizard spent 18 seasons in the NBA.

Stackhouse also knows about scoring, having averaged 17 points per game during his career.

Lastly, the swingman knows about Paul Pierce after dueling with the former Celtics star for many, many years.

Put all that knowledge together and Stackhouse knows why Washington's new small forward still gets it done after 16 NBA campaigns.

"(Paul) knows how to put the ball in the basket. That's the name of the game: Basket-ball. He can still put it in the basket," Stackhouse told CSNwashington.com at the Las Vegas Summer League on Tuesday.

"He might lose a step, some athletic ability, but that was never Paul's game anyway. It was about being crafty, off-speed. Guys like that can play forever. Maybe not as many minutes, but can still be efficient and do as well as long as he wants to play."

The affable Stackhouse is currently "figuring some things out" while doing some work for the Milwaukee Bucks and new coach Jason Kidd, who this week said the Wizards are "going to be one of the top teams in the East." Stackhouse also gave thumbs up to the addition of closer like Pierce for a team headlined by young guards John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Pierce averaged a career-low 28 minutes per game last season with the Brooklyn Nets. Yet his efficiency remained high and he finished among the top 3-point shooters in clutch situations. Meanwhile Washington often struggled in tight spots, finishing 4-8 in overtime games.

"I think it's a great move for them," Stackhouse said. "They already probably have one of the best backcourts in the league. Probably the best in the Eastern Conference. Now they have a guy who solidifies the team from the standpoint of stability.

"[Paul is] at the stage of his career where he has a lot to offer those guys. Not just from production, though I still think he can do some things on the basketball court. In big situations, knowing they have a guy they can drop the ball to and still make big shots. I think it was a huge pick up for them."

[RELATED: Can Porter compete with Pierce for minutes at small forward?]

Similar to many an ex-Wizard, Stackhouse's time in Washington didn't include playoff appearances. He recognizes a new day is dawning with the Wizards and credits the organization's turnaround for attracting Pierce.

"You look at what they did last year. They made a nice run [in the playoffs]," Stackhouse said. "You can obviously see the talent. I think everybody knows when you look at John and Beal, that's one of the brightest backcourts of the future. Well, it's a now backcourt, not just the future. They showed they're the real deal.

"John's strides over the last couple of years have been tremendous. Being from North Carolina, I watched his growth. Signed Marcin [Gortat] back and Nene. You've got the pieces. [Paul] fits right in between."