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.

Blog Author: 
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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With the NBA trade deadline now just over a week away, focus has shifted to a team that appears to be on the verge of blowing it up — the Atlanta Hawks.

Al Horford

Al Horford

With the NBA trade deadline now just over a week away, focus has shifted to a team that appears to be on the verge of blowing it up — the Atlanta Hawks.

With free-agent-to-be Al Horford and sharpshooter Kyle Korver, Atlanta has a couple of pieces that could interest the Celtics, as ESPN insider Chad Ford noted in a recent column, when he proposed a trade of the two to Boston for David Lee, Kelly Olynyk and a pair of first-round picks (neither one coming from Brooklyn).

Ford also proposed a larger three-way deal involving the Kings that would send out Evan Turner and the upcoming Nets pick (which could be No. 1 overall), among other pieces, and bring DeMarcus Cousins back to Boston.

That’s not happening. The Hawks present an intriguing trade partner, however. Horford’s impending free agency automatically depresses his market, and the athletic big man would give the Celtics a dimension they certainly lacked in Tuesday’s 112-111 loss to the Bucks, when Greg Monroe torched them for 29 points, including the go-ahead layup with one second left.

Horford is capable of shooting from 16 feet or scoring on the block, and he’s an excellent team defender. He’d fit right into Brad Stevens‘ system on the opposing end of the floor, which is where the Celtics win games.

Korver would give them something they desperately need as well, a guard/forward who can knock down open 3-pointers. He’s shooting .383 from deep this season, which is actually his lowest mark in a decade, but would still rank second on the Celtics (behind Olynyk’s .415) among players with at least 100 attempts.

Lifetime, Korver shoots 3’s at an absurd .429 clip, including a league-best .492 last year and an NBA-record .536 in 2010. At age 34, he’s the rare player to hit his stride when his career should be winding down. He’s an average defender in a helping scheme, at best, but his shooting could help the Celtics space the floor.

Also, Horford and Korver are both considered winning players, no small consideration when looking for guys who will buy into Stevens’ system.

Might there be a match? We’ll find out in the next eight days.

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Brad Stevens (left) and Doc Rivers represent an excellent continuum of Celtics coaches. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)Doc Rivers didn't want to rebuild.

Jason Kidd may have figured out the only way to beat the Celtics — stack the bench. Kidd’€™s decision to bring Greg Monroe and Michael Carter-Williams off the bench paid off, as the Bucks defeated the Celtics 112-111 on Tuesd

Feb 9, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens reacts after a call in the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Bucks won 112-111. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 9, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens reacts after a call in the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Bucks won 112-111. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Kidd may have figured out the only way to beat the Celtics, stack the bench.

Kidd’€™s decision to bring Greg Monroe and Michael Carter Williams off the bench tonight paid off, as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Boston Celtics 112-11 Tuesday night in Milwaukee.

The Bucks built up a huge lead in the second half, outscoring the Celtics 40-20 in the third quarter. Monroe was simply unstoppable, scoring 12 of his game-high 29 points in the frame.

In the final six minutes, the Celtics made a frantic comeback, cutting the 21-point deficit to three with 59 seconds to play.

After Jae Crowder tied the game at 109-109, ,a Monroe lay-up put the Bucks back up by two with only one second remaining.

With the Bucks in the bonus, Bayless gave Kelly Olynyk the opportunity to tie the game by fouling Olynyk on the ensuing inbound pass. After Olynyk sank both free throws, it looked as if the game was going to overtime.

On the Bucks next play, an over aggressive Bradley fouled Khris Middleton as he caught the pass. Middleton made the first, before intentionally missing the second to seal the one-point victory for the Bucks.

Monroe, who has given the Celtics struggles in the past, was especially dominant, scoring a game-high 29 points on 13-of-21 shooting. Carter Williams added 16 points, Jarred Bayless had 14, as the Bucks bench outscored the Celtics 62-50.

Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder led the team with 18 points, while four other Celtics scored in double figures.

The loss snaps the (31-22) Celtics four-game win streak, and is only their fourth in their last sixteen games.

The C’€™s return home to play Paul Pierce, Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night at TD Garden. For a complete box score, click here STUD OF THE NIGHT Greg Monroe

Monroe has historically dominated the Celtics. He also scored 29 points against the C’€™s last year as member of the Pistons. Tonight, he dominated in the post, gobbling up every defender Brad Stevens threw at him. When the Celtics attempted to double him, he made the correct passes. He made a huge impact on the glass, finishing with 12 boards, half of which on offense.

DUD OF THE NIGHT Tito Zeller With Amir Johnson in foul trouble, Stevens turned to GodZeller to stop Monroe. Although he had been played well recently, Zeller failed miserably, as the Celtics were a -22 in his 10 minutes on the floor.


WHINE OF THE NIGHT Interior Defense

Jared Sullinger and Amir Johnson have to do a better job defending the post. The duo are supposed to be the team’€™s best interior defenders, but didn’€™t even fight for position. Monroe repeatedly got deep post position. By the time he caught the basketball, he had already won the battle. While the Celtics are keen on playing small, these two will have to play better when the C’€™s match-up against teams with a legitimate center.

STAT OF THE NIGHT Turnovers: Celtics 18, Bucks 14.

The Celtics do not usually lose the turnover battle, but tonight they were extremely sloppy with the basketball, especially in the first half. It’€™s not as if the Bucks were taking the ball from the Celtics, as they only finished with five steals, rather the Celtics made a number of dumb and inaccurate passes. Primary ball handlers Isaiah Thomas and Evan Turner both turned it over four times.


Blog Author: 
Sam Packard

For only the second time in his career, veteran point guard Rajon Rondo returned to Boston on Sunday to face the Celtics at TD Garden.

It was just over a year ago when the Celtics surprisingly traded Rondo to the Mavericks, and since then, the rebuilding Celtics have blossomed into one of the better teams in the East. In fact, the Celtics are 62-50 since the Rondo trade and have won nine of their last 10 games after beating the Kings, 128-119, on Sunday. With the win, the Celtics (31-22) hold the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.

After the game, Rondo talked about the Celtics’ depth and credited coach Brad Stevens for the team’s recent success.

“They play well as a team,” Rondo said. “They may be 13, 14 guys deep. You never know who’s going to get it going for them each night. You look at the box score and someone is leading them in scoring different every night. So they’ve been playing well as a team. Brad has these guys rolling, believing in the system and they’re playing very unselfish.”

Rondo said he still keeps in touch with some of his old teammates, and he wished the team well.

“I sent Avery [Bradley] a text after the big shot he made the other day [against the Cavs],” Rondo said. “My young guys, Kelly [Olynyk], Jared [Sullinger]. A lot of these guys are my rookies. So it’s good to see these guys playing well. I wish them health and happiness and to continue to play and try to take the East.”

Rondo wasn’t the only one who is impressed with Stevens and the Celtics. Kings coach George Karl praised Stevens after the game and said he believes the Celtics can make a run in the East.

“Coach Stevens does a great job of pushing buttons and keeping everyone highly motivated,” Karl said. “They’re a fun team. I watched three films on them. The Cleveland game, because we play Cleveland [on Monday] and I’ll tell you what, they have a chance against Cleveland.”

Rondo, who had 14 points, 15 assists and six steals against the Celtics, is having an excellent season for the Kings and most likely will be signing a generous contract extension this upcoming summer. He leads the league in assists (11.8) while averaging 12 points and 6.2 rebounds.

When Rondo was dealt back in December of 2014, very few could have predicted the Celtics to reach this level of success with such a young core and no perennial All-Star. However, the C’s continue to surprise the league, something that may not have happened if they didn’t part ways with the point guard who helped raise the franchise’s 17th championship banner.

If the Celtics decided to stick with Rondo, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge most likely would have given the point guard a hefty extension this past summer or let him walk — leaving Ainge and the Celtics with nothing in return. Instead, the Celtics still have Jae Crowder — the only player left from the Rondo deal, who has become one of the Celtics’ most valuable assets — as well as the Mavericks’ 2016 first-round pick.

It’s safe to say (if there’s any doubt) that the deal was a success. The Celtics have flexible cap space and a roster full of young talent that is fighting to stay in the top half of the Eastern Conference.

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon