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Notebook: Reaction To Boston’s Elimination

With no Celtics games for another five months, this week we’ll turn our attention to a retrospective of the the 2012-13 season, including looking at the best and worst games of the year and providing our final grades for every player on the roster.

We’ll also look at the questions facing Danny Ainge as he recasts the roster for next fall. Soon after that, we’ll turn our attention to the draft and free agency. And we’ll finally launch the long-gestating CelticsHub podcast. So, stay tuned. We’re not going anywhere.

In the meantime, there are a number of worthwhile pieces you should read in the wake of Boston’s loss last night.

Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo! Sports put a period at the end of the Kevin Garnett era, suggesting both he and Pierce have played their final games as Celtics:

Boston can buy out the final year on Paul Pierce’s contract for $5 million – or pay him $15 million to play the season. Or trade him, and let someone else do it. The Celtics will work hard to move him in a package deal that includes a young player or a draft pick. Once Pierce goes, they know Garnett’s decision will be easy.For three years, there’s been uncertainty about the Celtics’ direction. General manager Danny Ainge pushed hard for deals involving Garnett and Pierce at the February trade deadline, but nothing materialized. This time, Rivers knew the ending was different, that the likelihood of this coach and his core returning together is dim.

“There’s more doubt with everything,” Rivers told Yahoo! Sports. “We don’t know what we’re doing, but also we don’t know what [Garnett’s] doing. It’s different this year, there’s no doubt about that.”

Over at ESPN Boston, Jackie MacMullan has a variation on the same theme:

Rivers became emotional when discussing Garnett and the pain he endured while fighting off injuries to his ankles, his hip (a “minor” injury that was aggravated in Game 4) and at least one other undisclosed ailment.

“KG is the best,” Rivers said. “Just the best. His knowledge is amazing. … He’s what, 37? And he’s still one of the best in the league.

“He’s different. Different than any star I’ve ever been around. You can’t take him for granted, and we never ever have.”

Garnett reiterated Friday night his future might be tied to what the Celtics decide to do regarding Pierce. He said his coach pulled the two of them aside at the end of the game and “all three of us agreed to speak later. Too emotional.”

Team sources said KG might undergo offseason surgery to shave down the bone spurs in his ankles, an operation that is not viewed as a major procedure. Two of his teammates privately speculated he is considering retirement.

At CBS Sports, Ken Berger isn’t convinced Garnett is done:

The moment caught on camera, with audio, when Garnett checked out of the game on Friday night was telling. As KG came to the sideline, Rivers embraced him and asked, “You good?” And Garnett said, “Yup.” To which Rivers said, “I love ya.” It sure seemed like a good-bye, but was it? Garnett is guaranteed $12.4 million next season and $6 million in 2014-15. A buyout for Garnett this summer would do the Celtics no good; his money would remain on their cap and tax ledgers. A trade would require a team with cap room to be close enough to contention to take on a soon-to-be 37-year-old Hall of Famer — and it would require Garnett to waive his no-trade clause. You have to look pretty far down the list of teams with cap room to find one for which KG would be willing to waive his no-trade — if any.

Retirement? Garnett’s money would be wiped off the Celtics’ books if he decided to retire. But despite the hundreds of millions Garnett has made in his brilliant career, does anyone see him leaving $18.4 million on the table? I don’t.

Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated notes the imprint the Garnett-led Celtics made on the other elite teams in the NBA over the last six years:

The takeaway of this game, this series and the last six years altogether had everything to do with Garnett’s impact on the Celtics and opponents who were forced to measure up. The Celtics’ victory in the 2008 NBA Finals revealed weaknesses in the Lakers that Kobe Bryant was able to tighten on their way to championships in the next two years. LeBron James became a champion because he knew that the Celtics were going to keep exposing him otherwise. Anthony was the latest star to be forced to raise his standards. “You have to deal with him emotionally, physically, mentally, and then with his talent,” Rivers said.

“He changed it. He changed our whole way,” Rivers went on, referring to Garnett in the past tense. “I can preach it all day, but when you have a guy walking the walk (of) what you’re saying, your franchise changes. Every new guy that came in here, even vets — stars — who came in, from Shaq on, they had to change a little bit around Kevin.”

  • Swissflix

    This was Pierce's worst playoff game ever, a true john starks performance. Unfortunately, not only on lots of rushed offense. His passing was sloppy and terrible, his D on Kidd or Shumpert atrocious. He actually ended our run…
    There is just no way that another run with him makes sense. I want championships, not memories! And being the high volume scorer he has become, i doubt he would make for a good sixth man. You need true shooters for that, which we have in Terry.

    • Alex

      Def pierces worst playoff off performance but only way I would trade him this offseason is to lakers for Dwight Howard. Rondo bradley green Garnett howard with Terry, sullinger, (trade lee, plays much better as starter, can't have it on this team though) crawford t.williams and other 3 remain to be seen..

      If you can't do that trade then buy out pierces deal sign him to 2 year 10 mill deal (so he makes him 15 if he com back 2nd year.. With kg possibly if everything thinks the can still contend) and sign a playermaker and better offensive options and still trade lee

      We passed on Reggie Jackson and didn't resign Nate robinson and could've used their offense..

      • celticsfan

        No matter what happens with Pierces contract, we wont have cap room…..even if we release him we will be over the cap. I think we have a mini mid level exception or something left, RIGHT?

    • Rav

      He was tired from having to shoulder all the offensive responsibility (playmaking AND scoring) for this team for the latter half of the season. With Rondo and Sullinger available Pierce wouldn't have played as poorly as he did in this series.

    • elroz

      No Rondo makes Pierce work harder and do things he is not supposed to do. Even the young and talented Durant has tapered off w/o Westbrook. You're talking about a team playing w/o their point guard and NBA assist leader!

      With RR, and with Green taking up minutes, Pierce would be valuable next season.

      • snow

        I agree. Pierce should come off the bench next year.

  • Swissflix

    And yes, Terry came up big in the playoffs.

    • CelticsBIG3

      He played 3 good games. If he had been able to do anything for us during the regular season we might not have been a 7 seed.

      • janos

        hi big3
        is jet sign us future year times or no ?

        • CelticsBIG3

          2 more seasons Janos.

    • check12check

      he hit some shots, but that's all he can offer. He didn't display consistent shooting this season, and is such a massive liability in other aspects. I loved what he did for the mavs, but he doesn't have that game in him anymore

  • Miggy_Miggz

    I hate how there's little loyalty anymore, even with a great organization like the Celtics. Sure we probably won't win a championship with Paul on the team, but the man sacrificed a lot for the team and the city and I believe he's earned the right to finish his career here if that's what he desires (which seems to be the case).

    It's a shame that The Captain and a true Celtic will most likely finish his career wearing another jersey, but I guess thats sports these days.

    With that being said, great run these past 5 years boys. It produced a bunch of memories that will never be forgotten.

    • Swissflix

      Well my post has nothing to do with a lack of loyalty. Also, Pierce might have to blame it on himself contractwise if he is wearing another uniform next season.


    how yo 'll doing at fishing trip

  • Banner18

    Knicks are an overall classless organization who will get swept next round. Nonetheless, this Celtics team taught me a lot and I'm satisfied with every minute of this season.

    • Tony Knicks

      Hey moron you lost in the first round. You should be unhappy and miserable like everybody else in Boston. Are you too stupid to know the Celtics blow?

      • Cadz

        Ahahahahahahaha!! First playoff series win in 13 years!! Knicks are a joke! Suck on Melo's melons!!!

      • Switcharoo

        That’s what serape rates Celtics fans from New York, even in defeat we have more pride,class,and respect than the likes of you. We love this team and stand by them, good or bad. Thanks for a great season Boston, see you in the fall, hopefully with Pierce,KG and Rivers for one more go.
        I don’t care what anyone says these guys worked hard and faced tons of set backs and still made a run of it; might not be good enough for some of you but it was good enough for me.

      • PatsCeltsSoxB's

        How you liking those Pacers so far skippy?

  • chris m

    Pierce has to accept a bench roll. He put up good numbers this year. Assists and rebounds were way up and he had a solid 18 pt per game avg. He wore out by the time April arrived. If he made a move to the bench, playing 20/28 min. Green, Bass, Garnett, Rondo, Bradley, then Pierce, Sully, Terry, Lee, Williams, Shavlik would be nice.

  • Tony Knicks

    The Knicks just retired old man Garnett.


    Suck it Boston!

    • janos

      congarates to all fan knick enjoys your time ;'is no more busness here for you know thank you.

      • Tony Knicks

        Hey it's the retard!

        Are you a sad retard now that the celtics are out? Or are you too retarded to be sad?


        • Bill

          Trolling only works if you really have a position of advantage. I don't think any reasonable Celtics fan actually thought they had a chance to get out of this round.

          The Knicks still don't have the pieces to win a championship. Have fun trying to get over the next hump for the next 2 or 3 years…

          • elroz

            I'd say this might be NYK ONLY good team for the next few years… I think this is it for them.

        • Switcharoo

          Wow you are totally classless Tony really. If anyone is sad its you for treating people the way you do. You think picking on ‘retarded’ people is fun? I feel sorry for you man, I really do, your soul is empty.

    • elroz

      This what happens when your team doesn't win a playoff series in 13 years and a championship since 73…you get no idea about basketball and you get excited over a win against an injured team. But in fact, there is NOBODY on NYK roster today that will have a career like KG has had. And KG out-rebounded everybody in this series.

      Oh, and "Tony" – we know you pap's is a c-sucker and your mom is a slut… that's why you keep popping up like a little baby c-sucker.

    • PatsCeltsSoxB's

      How you liking those Pacers so far?

    • When was the last time the Knicks won a title? Wasn't Lincoln President? Big talk from a fan who has empty rafters.

  • Jose B. Javier

    The way we see from the opposite side of the globe, the Celtics is the Celtics because of team-loyalty and fan-loyalty. Havlicek, Cousy, Russel, Bird, McHale, White, the Big Red, KG & Pierce- they're the reason we follow the men in green. Take the loyalty away and it's just another team. Get KG and Pierce to come back and deal for a really power center.

  • High Rollers

    What’s up with these trolls lately? You have a team moving on, despite itself. Move along already. C’s fans are focused on C’s stuff. For real.

    C’s (and Mavs) made every winner since ’08. SI guy’s right on the money.

    • PatsCeltsSoxB's

      What makes me laugh is that they are so proud of winning in 6 after being up 3-0….and losing their first in the second round….they will exit soon and then they can all go cry for another decade before they win another series…meanwhile in Boston we will rebuild and practice under the 17 CHAMPIONSHIP BANNERS they have earned over the years…..I don't think that NY can boast that many in any sport outside of baseball.

  • elroz

    NY and Detroit have the most classless fans, the least informed, and their writers are almost as bad. This is common knowledge.

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