What was disproved by Pierce's performance in the playoffs?
He had a solid playoffs, if you want to talk about him being tired then you should play the Bulls/C's collectively for having so many OTs.
Pierce had a good series against the Bulls and was doing well against Orlando until game 6/7. You really think 3 MPG in Feb/March mattered more than big minutes in the two weeks before and multiple OT games?
Or the fact that Orlando got more locked in defensively when it became do or die for them?
Yes it makes a difference, certainly not at the level of those OT games, but it does make a difference, particularly with Pierce who'd been battling some knee problems himself.
It all adds up, and it's disingenuous to believe that it doesn't make a difference. Hell, let's stop giving Pop that much credit for being a good coach for conserving his players throughout the year... it's a non-issue after all.
Fact is, regardless of what you feel the difference would be, it was completely unnecessary to play Pierce that much during the season, and a poor decision to do so. Even if Pierce didn't ran out of gas, it would still make it a poor decision, there was no need for it... that he did end up running out of gas, just adds circumstantial evidence my way at the very least.
Doc himself said throughout the season that he had play Pierce less, but for some reason he kept failing at it his promise.