Personally, I believe the only overrated player on the '08 championship squad was KG. And here's why... KG was billed out as one of the top big men, in the same vein as a McHale(+) but in reality, he's probably one of the best facilitators, for a big man, with a great ensemble of skills. He didn't score in the post, when it was needed, and he made too many passes on the block, when he should have taken a shot. Those are growing pains and probably a lack of a "Mr Q4" attitude which you see in a lot of swingmen and power forwards. Ok, so that keeps him out of my Hakeem-like clutch PF/C list but that's fine, as long as the rest of the world acknowledges that Pierce is the C's Batman and KG, his Robin (or perhaps, Captain America since he's a bit more effective than Burt Ward).
KG didn't score when it was needed? But Pierce was a Mr. Q4? In this year's playoffs? That's just blatantly not true. I've tried to avoid KG vs. Pierce wars on Celtics boards (seems counter-productive considering both are Cs that just led the team to a title), but much of this post is just false yet I see it espoused a lot on the internet. Even if you just completely discount KG's effect as a defensive anchor (which, by the way, played a large part in helping Pierce contain both LeBron and Kobe) and rebounder (which, by the way, was a key component in winning against the Cavs, Pistons, and Lakers), and just look at pure scoring, KG was still the main guy for the Celtics in the playoffs.
To start, KG was the Celtics leading scorer in the playoffs. But maybe that's not enough, so let's go further.
For all of those that say "yeah, but Pierce was the man late in games"...KG was the Celtics' leading scorer in the 4th quarter in the playoffs
. Pierce drew more fouls, which is important and I credit him for that, but KG was the leading scorer. KG scored 128 points on 53% from field and 77% from line in 4th quarters across the playoffs, Pierce scored 103 points on 36% from field
and 81% from line in playoff 4th Qs.
For those that say "yeah, but Pierce stepped up more than KG late in the close games"...in the 16 playoff games decided by 10 points or less either way KG was the leading 4th quarter scorer. KG: 88 points on 52% FG, 70% FT vs. Pierce's 77 points on 36% FG and 81% FT.
In 12 playoff games decided by 7 points or less either way KG was the leading 4th quarter scorer. KG: 66 points on 49% FG, 72% FT vs. Pierce's 54 points on 31% FG and 82% FT.
In 3 playoff games decided by 4 points or less either way KG was the leading 4th quarter scorer. KG 22 points on 50% FG and 100% FT, Pierce 3 points on 20% FG and 50% FT.
No matter how you slice it, across the playoffs KG was, in fact, the primary scorer. He was the leading scorer overall, and he was the leading scorer late in games, no matter how close the games were. And despite the fact that he committed the sin of scoring away from the rim as well as at the rim, KG still was both the leading scorer and the most efficient scorer late in Cs playoffs games.
From the things I read online sometimes, I almost feel like I'm in the twilight zone with the way people credit Pierce and discredit KG. Pierce is an outstanding players, one of the better players in the league. I give him all of the props for being a main cog on a champion and bringing home the Finals MVP. But please, I wish people would stop distorting what happened to make Pierce look better at the expense of KG. I realize that Pierce is the Captain and the Truth, and that he has been the man in Boston for 10 years while KG is the new guy on the block. But why can't both get props for what they did? I just don't understand it.