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WEEI » This Just In » Avery Johnson on D&C: Pierce needs KO
Wed, 06/09/2010 - 8:02am  

Avery Johnson on D&C: Pierce needs KO

Former NBA coach and current ABC/ESPN analyst Avery Johnson joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to talk about the NBA finals. Johnson said the Celtics need their offensive leader to return to form. "Paul needs to play like Paul Pierce," Johnson said. "With him guarding Ron Artest quite often and not Kobe [Bryant] as much as he did with LeBron James, you expect more offense out of Paul Pierce. This team has always been successful when he's been the leading scorer, when he's the guy. ... I think the key is, I haven't seen Paul Pierce with the type of aggressiveness and knockout-type of look in his eyes, where he's trying to knock a guy out. He's been jabbing, to take a boxing term, in this series, and he hasn't been trying to knock guys out with his scoring. For the Celtics' sake, we'll see if that changes."

 

Johnson was asked about Rajon Rondo appearing tired at times. Said Johnson: "It may be a little bit of fatigue. But at the same time, this is not the time of year to really get tired. Especially a young guy like Rondo. He's supposed to be in tip-top shape. I just think more than anything, it could be mental. ... We've seen him have those types of stretches where he just looks a little disinterested, he's not aggressive, he's real passive on the floor." Johnson also speculated that Rondo's troubles at the free throw line might be affecting his decision-making in terms of driving to the basket.

 

Johnson said the referees weren't the deciding factor in Game 3, and the coaches will handle that situation in their own way. "You've got two of the smartest coaches in basketball involved in the finals," Johnson said. "They know how to navigate those situations and send subtle messages to their players and especially officials."

 

Johnson, who is trying to work his way back into an NBA head coaching job, said he doesn't expect the Celtics will have an opening this offseason. "I don't see [Doc Rivers] walking away," he said. "I see him coming back next year."

 

To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. Visit the Green Street blog for more Celtics news.




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