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.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the start of Patriots OTAs and the rookies' first taste of the NFL.
We talk to the newest inductee to the Patriots Hall of Fame, linebacker Willie McGinest.
Price tells Greg about what is in store for football fans and Patriots fans beyond Deflategate. We will, after all, move on at some point.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton check in with Sox Skipper John Farrell for his weekly chat. John breaks some news about David Ortiz with us.
Former teammate of Lou Merloni and current ESPN analyst Dallas Braden joins the guys to talk about doctoring the ball, cheating in baseball, and the struggling Red Sox.
Joe Castiglione talked to the Sox lefty, who allowed one run in eight innings as the Sox beat the Angels 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!
Adrian Peterson's twitter rant leaves us wondering which troubled running back we would rather have on our team.
All the latest stories brought to you by Kirk Minihane.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk discuss the Red Sox decision to sit down their slumping slugger.
The three hosts give their best efforts to spell the toughest names in sports.
Christian gives us five topics ranging from the NBA Finals to the FIFA Scandal
Rookie Eduardo Rodriguez pitched 7 and two thirds of shutout baseball in his debut. The guys discuss his performance and the benching of David Ortiz.
Bill Belichick said exactly what you think he'd say about deflategate and the penalties levied on the Patriots: nothing. Michael Holley, Steve Buckley and Greg Dickerson discuss it.
Michael and crew discuss the latest revelations about public funding in the bid for Boston to get the 2024 Olympics.
Michael Holley, Steve Buckley and Greg Dickerson discuss the Red Sox including the benching of David Ortiz, and the debut of rookie pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.
The Planet Mikey Show with Mikey Adams and Chris Villani reacts to the MLB debut of Eduardo Rodriguez and the impact he might have on the Red Sox.
Mikey Adams and Chris Villani discuss Boston Globe columnist Christopher Gasper's piece analyzing why the New England Patriots are hated outside of New England. Beyond just because they win, Villani believes Belichick is the key to sparking rage.
Mikey Adams and Chris Villani discuss the disappointing 21-26 start of the Boston Red Sox and who is most to blame. Also, caller Steve from Fall River sets Villani off with his DeflateGate take.
"Jerry is joined by his friend comedian Nick "Fitzy" Stevens to talk about awesomely cheesy 80s movies, the "Point Break" reboot, why in a world of limitless raunch everyone is so uptight, and a million other topics before they finally get to why everyone hates the Patriots and their fans."
On this edition of the It Is What It Is Cast Chris Price and Mike Petraglia talk about Malcolm Brown at Gillette and the latest news surrounding Tom Brady.
US Prosecutors arrest multiple members of FIFA. Ben, Russ, and Alex dissect what this means for the beautiful game.
Now he is not saying it's as bad as Chicken and Beer, but Lou Merloni thinks there are some team chemistry issues in the Red Sox clubhouse. The guys discuss the potential problems and what can be done to fix it.More from this show
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton discuss Chris Gasper's column about the national hatred towards the Patriots, and why it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.More from this show
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.More from this show