Danny Ainge sat down with The Big Show for an extended interview yesterday where he covered a wide range of topics regarding the team. Here are a few highlights of the exchange, with the full transcript being found at WEEI’s Green Street Blog:
On whether the team’s age has been affecting its play:
I don’t think so, no. I think our team has played well in a lot of scenarios and I just think that we haven’t been as consistent. But, shooting the ball accounts for a lot. We haven’t been hitting a lot of fairways but we have been hitting a lot of puts. Right now we are a shot of two shots away from winning these games and we have been shooting the ball very poorly from the outside.
On Rondo’s overall play this year:
I think he is playing better than last year. I think his defense is significantly better than last year. I think he is not getting to the line as much but I think part of that is that we are getting the ball inside more to our post players and not relying on his penetration as much but he is shooting a much better percentage than he did last year which says he is getting to the basket more, he is just not getting to the line more.
He is not timid of going inside, he makes a lot of baskets going inside. His scoring average is the same not making free throws and he is shooting a higher percentage, so, I don’t think he is shying away. I think Rondo is playing much more aggressively on defense this year than he was last year.
On Rasheed’s struggles and whether the team will “stay the course” with him:
You know one thing that I appreciate about Rasheed, his competitiveness, his rebounding, he is doing more of the little things ever since he has been in the shooting slump. I think he has the respect of his teammates. They have all played against him, they know what he is capable of doing. I don’t think that he feels and added amount of pressure, any more than he would have had any other year. He has a comfort level with the coaches, everybody knows Rasheed and Rasheed has given us what we expect, he has just not made many shots. Every shooter goes through these kind of slumps, I am just not that worried about it.
On the uncertainity surrounding KG’s knee:
I agree, we don’t know the answers yet with KG. We talk to KG, we communicate with the medical staff and the doctors and we have been in communication constantly about the progress, the workload on and off the court. We rehab the knee. But our main objective is to get KG healthy for the long term, for the next few years and this year we may have him better late. We think it is better, unanimously, that going through what he is going through right now is going to help him be ready for the playoffs. So that is the path we are on right now and until that changes we are gong to be going on this path.