Paul Pierce checked in with the Mut & Merloni show Thursday, one day after leading the Celtics to an 89-70 victory over the Nets.
Pierce scored 24 points Wednesday, but he acknowledged that he still has a ways to go to get back to form after missing the first three games with a right heel injury.
"I'm coming along slowly," he said. "Remember, I'm coming off an injury, so Doc [Rivers] hasn't been one to push me too hard in my first few games. I haven't had any practice time with the crew. That's pretty much what that's been about [resting in the fourth quarter]. We've been able to get leads through three quarters and that's allowed me to rest and try to get my injury all the way healed."
Added Pierce: "I really didn't have too much of a preseason, but you can see the rust throughout the league on teams getting off to the starts they're getting off to, except for the teams that have probably been together for a while. We're still trying to find ourselves, even though it's seven games into the season. We've dealt with injuries, we've still got guys that we're trying to implement into the offense, a lot of new guys."
Rivers has made a point of stressing that the Celtics' window is closing quickly, and Pierce is well aware.
"He's been talking about that pretty much every year," Pierce said. "But look at the contracts: [Kevin Garnett] is up this year, Ray Allen's up this year. You never know what the future is going to hold. So definitely, this is a year where you have to have a little bit more of a sense of urgency, knowing that maybe this is the last time we could be on the court together. That's the way we're taking it, each and every day we come out here and play the game, and especially when we're around each other in the locker room, because you never really know what's going to happen next year."
Following are more highlights from the interview.
On Avery Bradley: We know he can play tremendous defense. I think offensively it's just about him gaining his confidence. Because in practice I'm seeing him knock down shots constantly, going to the rack strong. But he's way ahead of the curve defensively. He might be right now one of the top 10 best defenders in the NBA that people don't even know about. If he can bring his offense along to catch up with his defense, he can be one heck of a player."
On Brandon Bass: "I had a chance to play against him a lot in Orlando. You could see the flashes of the things he could do in his limited minutes. I knew he was a physical player, I knew he was really strong on the inside One thing that has surprised me is him knocking down the 15-footer. I didn't know he that good of a shooter from 15 feet and in. That's something that has surprised me. That's been a great addition. If he can continue to play with that energy and confidence. If he can be a Sixth Man Player of the Year, that just says a lot of how good our team is going to be.
On Bass' "No-Pass Bass" nickname: "As long as he keeps making them at a high rate, I have no problem with it. Other than that, he has to swing it to me."
On his extensive use of shot fakes: "I don't think I have a choice. I'm not that fast anyway. … I like to put my body into the defense. It kind of throws them off balance and it enables me to get to the hole or get my jumper."
On the improved play from the bench this season: "There's a lot more experience coming off our bench, a lot more maturity amongst them. They're coming in and they're getting the job done. They're getting to practice early. You can see that they want to win a championship."
On the Heat: "They've gained a lot of confidence in what they've done within a year, going to the finals and having a chance to win a championship, and it's only going to bring more confidence to two determined players. great players always try to find a way. Hopefully, we can just extend that window for them one more year."
On Shaquille O'Neal joining TNT: "He has more nicknames than I've ever seen in the history of sport. He's a great addition. Maybe they'll get into a tussle and bring up the ratings. … I would like to see a rematch of the Charles Barkley-Shaquille O'Neal fight."
WEEI's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Reggie Wayne's arrival in New England and look at what he might be able to bring to the team.
Head coach Bill Belichick sits down with Dale, Jerry and Tom E Curran on Patriots Monday and discusses the team's progression in this preseason, and the acquisition of WR Reggie Wayne.
Dale, Jerry and Tom E Curran talk with Patriots DE Chandler Jones as he comes off the practice field on a Patriots Monday.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
Joe & Dave talked to the rookie left-hander, who allowed one earned run in eight innings as the Sox beat the Royals at Fenway.
Joe and Dave are joined buy newly appointed President of Baseball Operations for the Red Sox, Dave Dombrowski. Dave talks about wanting to hit the ground running in Boston, and joining the organization during the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox outfielder, who had a fantastic day, knocking in seven runs, scoring five runs, and hitting five extra-base hits in the win against the Mariners at Fenway.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
The guys discuss some possible headlines come Pats opening night and talk about the reception that Roger Goodell might get if he's in Foxboro.
On the brink of the Pats' third preseason game, Christian kicks around some players that we might see suit up tonight in Charlotte.
The guys discuss a number of off-topics that are in the news today, including Sir Charles calling out his former agent, a Texas little league coach gives a pre-game talk for the ages & Jay Gruden is becoming sensitive.
We wrap up the week with the best in sound that you may have missed, plus our intern on the mic Laroy Streat has some well-wishes for the birthday boy Jerry Thornton.
We discuss the infamous apologies, and how a little humble pie could have ended this entire Chris Mortensen misreporting mess way sooner.
We talk some Sox, including all things Hanley Ramirez.
Chris Mortensen went on a sports radio station in Arizona today and talked about his deflate gate reporting, and said that the Krafts called him to apologize over the whole situation. Only thing is there's a report tonight from D&C saying their sources at the Patriots are saying that did not happen, could Mort be, dare I say, wrong?
Chris Villani and Lenny Megs talk with Bob McGovern about the proceedings in the Tom Brady and NFL's deflate gate court case.
Villani is in for Mikey, he's talking about Chris Mortensen going on an Arizona station and talking about deflate gate and getting an apology from the Krafts.
It’s peek draft season so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are back with today’s Fantasy Football Podcast on Draft Strategy. Pete Davidson’s article at Rotobahn.com “The 2015 Draft Plan” fuels a deep conversation on how to approach the draft at all the key positions Quarterback, Runningback, Wide Receiver, Tight End and Defense. Get prepared and Happy Drafting!
Ben, Russ & Alex discuss their favorite transfer moves of the window, Alex shares his dislike for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and just how far can the Revs go this season?
Gerry and Kirk discuss deflategate and the Patriots relationship with ESPN.
We go inside the audio from 98.7 Arizona Sports Radio/ESPN and listen in as well as Chris Mortensen finally details the circumstances behind the infamous "11 of 12" footballs tweet, and also claims that the Patriots ownership called him personally to apologize... for what he doesn't specify.More from this show
Sean discussed his own firing from the Red Sox broadcast booth.More from this show