Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Mannix checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Thursday morning to discuss the latest Celtics trade rumors, notably Al Horford. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.

Al Horford

Al Horford

Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Mannix checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Thursday morning to discuss the latest Celtics trade rumors, notably Al Horford. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.

Mannix feels if the Celtics can get a chance to trade for the Atlanta forward they should do so because he can help the team not only now, but years down the line.

“I think Al Horford — if you’re ranking the free agents out there by tiers, putting them into classes, Al Horford is on that next tier right below Kevin Durant, LeBron, if you want to call him a free agent — he’s right there. He’s a bonafide star at his position.” Mannix said. “He plays both front court spots. He’s a great guy, so he won’t disrupt the character of the locker room. I think he’s going to be a highly productive player for the next three years. You throw a guy like Al Horford into that mix, and while he’s not one of those free agent magnets, what he is is another player to a group of bursting young players that is going to be really attractive to other free agent players to come join up and play with.

“The word is out on Brad Stevens. People want to play for this guy and if you deepen this team and add a potential All-Star like Al Horford to the mix, you got to do it if you have the opportunity.”

The Celtics have a number of future draft picks, including Brooklyn’s first rounder this year. Mannix doesn’t feel they will need to trade that pick for Horford, but a few of their future draft picks should be included in a potential package.

“It’s not going to take the Brooklyn pick. They are not giving the Brooklyn pick up for Al Horford. That’s insane,” Mannix said. “Right now Atlanta is in that whacky phase of trade season where they are asking for the moon. That is not going to happen. They are asking for a lot for Jeff Teague. They are asking for a lot for Al Horford. None of the deals out there that are circulating for any team are close to being imminent. What you have to look forward to is February 18 right around noon eastern when the Hawks have to make a decision.

“Do we believe Al Horford is part of our team for the long-term, who do we want to get the best possible deal for him down the line? If that is the case, I think Boston can put together an attractive package of David Lee‘s contract, one of their young bigs up front and maybe two of the many first-round draft picks that they have over the next three years. They keep that Brooklyn pick because Horford isn’t the type of player you trade that pick for, but would you trade the Brooklyn pick in 2018? Yeah. I think you consider that.”

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Celtics guard Avery Bradley reacts after hitting a key 3-pointer on Wednesday.</p>
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Trailing a big win by the Celtics over the Clippers, Paul Flannery of SB Nation calls in to talk everything Celtics.

[0:00:40] ... Brad Stevens or as the team DNA they fight back with a Isiah Thomas wait they get down for nothing in overtime this team never quits and that was evident tonight huge OT win against the ...
[0:02:33] ... to the trade speculation your coming up that's for this one tonight. Isiah Thomas he's undersized he sometimes take shots ball that you leave you scratching my head takes the basket where. They'll throw one up ...
[0:05:28] ... stretch. Brad Stevens followed deciding you know what and I can't play David Lee anymore and tighten up this rotation a couple of players including Isiah Thomas as she spoke out publicly and said. We have set rotation and look it's it's still. It's still Brad Stephens he still mix and match he started market sparked the second half tonight to go small against the clippers but I do feel like this solidifying of this. A who's gonna play night in night out. That is help them form an identity do you buy into that rotation being part of what is propel the Celtics forward here recently. Absolutely I really do you know I mean you mentioned David Lee almost a bad guys get really do well to. You know its current path yeah really. You did did the numbers and ...
[0:07:32] ... a Golden State but not bad odds link Casey to Ronald to Rick Carlisle to do this forever and perfect in game coach. Yet but no I think in terms of that upper level coaches he's ...

The Celtics never give up.

Isaiah Thomas gets a shot off over Paul Pierce in overtime. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Isaiah Thomas gets a shot off over Paul Pierce in overtime. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

The Celtics never give up.

Scoring seven points in the final minute of regulation, Isaiah Thomas & Co. forced overtime, where they defeated the visiting Clippers, 139-134.

After both teams shot better than 50 percent in the first half, the Celtics took a 10-point lead late in the third quarter, but saw that lead disappear in the fourth. Lance Stephenson’s corner 3-pointer tied the game, 106-106, just before he earned a technical foul for taunting the C’s bench. Still, Los Angeles took a five-point lead on an 8-3 run with 4:04 left.

Still trailing by five in the final minute, the Celtics closed the quarter on a 7-2 run. In that span, Isaiah Thomas scored six points, including a fadeaway jumper over DeAndre Jordan to send the game to overtime. In the extra period, Evan Turner caught fire, scoring half of his 14 points. The Celtics erased a six-point deficit, outscored the Clippers 17-12 in the extra frame and stifled Jamal Crawford‘s last-minute game-tying 3-point attempt to seal a remarkably resilient win.

Thomas’ 36 points led six Celtics in double figures, and Jared Sullinger flirted with a triple-double (21 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists). Chris Paul (35 points, 13 assists) and DeAndre Jordan (21 points, 16 rebounds) both finished with double-doubles for the Clippers. Former Celtic Paul Pierce scored all six of his points on a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter. TD Garden gave him and former coach Doc Rivers a loud ovation during the player introductions.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.

STUD OF THE NIGHT: Jared Sullinger.

Sullinger had his hands full guarding DeAndre Jordan in the paint, but responded on offense. He scored 21 points on 10-of-15 shooting, pulled down 11 rebounds and dished seven assists. He also connected on a rare 3-pointer to give the Celtics the lead in the extra period, capping a 6-2 run.

DUD OF THE NIGHT: Amir Johnson.

Unlike Sullinger, Johnson couldn’t find his offense. In fact, he couldn’t find a way to impact the game in any statistical category, finishing the night with zero points and a pair of turnovers.

VINE OF THE NIGHT: Welcome back, Paul.

WHINE OF THE NIGHT: Pick-and-roll defense.

There isn’t a point guard in the league that’s better at executing the pick-and-roll than Chris Paul. The Celtics struggled defending the veteran point guard, as he either scored a jump shot, dished to a big man or scored a layup. The pick-and-roll often caught the Celtics in a mismatch, which gave Paul an advantage to blow past one of the Celtics’ big men. The pick-and-roll certainly sparked the Clippers’ offense in the second half and nearly cost the C’s the game.

STAT OF THE NIGHT: 32 fouls.

Aside from the Hack-a-DeAndre Jordan, the Celtics committed a ton of fouls in the last two periods of the game. Paul did an excellent job drawing fouls and blew past nearly every one of his defenders (especially Jonas Jerebko). Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart — two of the Celtics’ best defenders — fouled out of the game. Yet, the Celtics still won. That’s impressive.


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As Paul Pierce returned to TD Garden as a member of the Clippers, the 18-year veteran said Wednesday’s game against the Celtics might be the last time he plays in Boston.

As Paul Pierce returns to TD Garden as a member of the Clippers, the 18-year veteran believes Wednesday night’s game may be the last time he plays in Boston.

Pierce, the Celtics‘ second all-time scorer and 10-time all-star, was asked if he thinks Wednesday will be the final time he plays at TD Garden.

“It could be, Pierce said. “I’m not 100 percent sure but, you know, like I’ve been saying the last two years, I’m taking it year by year and this could possibly be.”

For 15 seasons, Pierce called Boston his home. Although it’s been nearly three years since he last played a game in a Celtics uniform, coming back to TD Garden as a member of the visiting team is still odd for the veteran.

“I think the weird thing is just being on this side of the bench and this side of the locker room,” Pierce explained. “The locker room is a little weird. I used to walk up the stairs and take a right instead of a left. It’s fun I get to enjoy it because it might be the last time I’m back.”

Pierce also talked about his former teammate, Kevin Garnett. After telling reporters he still keeps in contact with Garnett, he was asked what the two often talk about.

“Usually all we talk about is family,” Pierce said with a laugh. “Kevin is doing good. I always ask if this is it for him, he’s still undecided. Kevin said he was going to retire the last five years in a row and always came back so I don’t know what he’s planning. We stay in good contact as do a lot of us, Rondo, the guys who we’ve played with so I don’t know what his plans are like and I don’t know what I’m going to do but it could be the last time.”

Pierce enters Wednesday’s game with career lows in every statistical category. He’s averaging 5.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game but has earned a spot in for Celtics coach Doc Rivers‘ starting lineup. Rivers and Pierce reunited this past summer when Pierce signed a three-year deal with the Clippers. Rivers talked about what Pierce means to the team.

“He gives us leadership, he gives us truth,” Instead of me using my voice I can use Paul’s voice and that’s been really nice for me. This is a different team than the one here, this is a younger team, a team that is trying to get over the hump and Paul has been really good.”

Despite playing without their All-Star forward Blake Griffin (right hand), the Clippers (35-17) have won eight of their last ten games and are fourth in the Western Conference.

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Josue Pavon

With the NBA trade deadline residing just 10 days away, things are getting interesting, particularly when it comes to the Celtics.

Al Horford

Al Horford

With the NBA trade deadline residing just 10 days away, things are getting interesting, particularly when it comes to the Celtics.

Speaking on CSN New England, Chris Mannix suggested there might be some traction when it comes to the Celtics’ rumored interest in Atlanta forward Al Horford.

“I think Boston, Al Horford is a legitimate possibility for the Celtics,
Mannix said. “I think that is one of the guys across the league that Danny Ainge is the most excited about. He is a four man that would fit right into what Boston is trying to do.

“It would cost a lot of money to re-sign him in the offseason, but I think Boston is willing to play it, because they haven’€™t paid a lot of money for players in recent years.”

Horford, whose contract expires at the end of this season, is averaging 15.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Mannix surmised that a potential deal wouldn’t get done until closer to the Feb. 18 trade deadline.

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