Quote Originally Posted by COYS View Post
Pierce's post-season success came later in his career than where Melo currently is in terms of age. Before that, Pierce languished on a pretty terrible Boston team. During the championship season, his stats were actually down across the board as he shared the reigns with KG, Ray Allen, and (to a lesser extent, then) Rondo. That championship is impressive, however, he only has one. Also, Melo has almost always had better rebounding numbers than Pierce, posting double digit rebound percentages every year of his career since '08 with the exception'10 when he was at 9.9. During that time, he had rebounding percentages over 11% three times. Pierce has cracked double digit rebounding percentages only three times in the past 10 seasons.

This is not to say that Melo is better than Pierce, but aside from post-season success, I'd say that Melo has been maybe just a bit better. Pierce is a better passer and has become a better defender (Melo's biggest issue, for sure), but if Melo can ever play on a team that is built correctly, we might see him reach the same heights as Pierce. I'm not sure you can blame Melo for struggling to mesh with Amar'e as much as you can blame the Knicks brass for acquiring too many ill-fitted pieces.
Pierce is better. Anthony is a modestly better rebounder, but Pierce is the more efficient scorer, better passer, and, even early in his career, superior defender. Anthony's best season by PER was 22.2, and his best by Win Shares was 9.4. Pierce has had 4 seasons that bettered that PER mark and 8(!) that bettered the Win Shares total. We can leave aside postseason and team success, and Pierce still comes out ahead. Over his nine-year career, Anthony has amassed 62.4 Win Shares. In Pierce's first nine seasons: 79.5.

Another thing I would say about the Pierce comparison is that Anthony--and any young star, really--will be hard pressed to extend his prime as long as Pierce has. He turns 35 later this year, and if he is slowing down, it is only by a little. You could make the argument that his 2010-11 campaign was the best season of his career. It hasn't just been that Pierce got a better team around him and came up big in the playoffs. He has proven durable and highly productive into his mid-30s, which is no mean feat.