The Sports Daily > Red's Army
Why Larry Bird was a better scorer than Paul Pierce


Who is the better scorer, Larry Bird or Paul Pierce?

There's been a big push lately to give that nod to Paul Pierce. Not just for passing Bird as the Celtics #2 all-time scorer, but for his versatility. The Truth has a great mid-range game (hello, right elbow jumper). He can shoot the three ball. He can also attack the basket and get to the rim. 

Larry Bird was a phenomenal shooter. One of the best of all time. His mid-range game involved backing down an opponent and shooting the fade-away. Bird was not a slasher. Putting the ball on the floor and getting to the hoop was not a strength. 

What's a debate without statistics? Let's look at points per game, shooting percentage and individual scoring:

Bird Pierce
PPG 24.3 22.1
FG% 49.6 44.8
60 points 1 0
50 points 3 1
40 points 43 18

With Bird having so many 40+ games, yet a 24.3 ppg career average, we wondered if he was prone to more bad games.

Bird Pierce
15 points or less 62 202
10 points or less 16 72

I'm not a statistics expert, but I believe these numbers disprove that argument.

Even prior to this little statistical experiment, I thought Bird was the better scorer. He was more explosive than Pierce. He would reach that zone more often than Pierce.

Pierce has more ways to score, but Bird is the better scorer. Make sense?