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Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers and Jason Terry Unfiltered on Game 6, Next Season and Their Futures

The dust has started to settle last night. The sixth year of a three-year plan came to an end at the TD Garden as the Boston Celtics fell short of a historic comeback against the New York Knicks. There will be plenty of time for analysis and discussion in the coming days, of what will be Boston’s longest offseason in quite sometime. Plenty of tough decisions will be made. Lots of questions were asked as the 2012-13 Celtics came to an end. Here are their answers, unfiltered:

Doc Rivers Reaction:

Doc Rivers on the Knicks and appreciating KG: “I’d just like to congratulate the Knicks. I thought Woody (Coach Mike Woodson) did a hell of a job throughout the series; I thought he prepared them tonight. You know, they talked about ball movement; I thought they came out and did that. So I just want to congratulate them. They can beat anybody when they play right, I’ll tell you that. They have a lot of fire-power, and they showed that in stretches tonight. On our guys, I told them after the game that I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys who went through a ton of adversity all year with all the injuries and all the stuff. And they just never didn’t think that they could. You know, Kevin (Garnett) limped into the playoffs and didn’t play – I mean he was unbelievable. He is as tough of a guy, as tough of a competitor, than I’ve ever been around. Rebounding and just doing everything for this team. I really didn’t want him to go out that way on our court. I mean, I just didn’t want him to. Obviously we lost to a better team, but for him, in particular, I just didn’t want him to go out that way. But he is a winner. He’s the best. The best I’ve seen.”

On The Fourth Quarter Comeback: “I think it’s a microcosm of the year. I think we’d been counted out four or five times this year, when (Rajon) Rondo went down, when Jared (Sullinger) went down, and each time we just fought back. And it happened again. And then we had chances. It’s a four-point game; we had the ball twice. (Iman) Shumpert, tonight, was their best player. I thought he single-handedly willed that game for them defensively early on, on Jeff Green, and then the big steal and he made some big shots. Those were big plays. The fact that we had the chance to win that game being down 20 or 21, whatever it was, with one timeout left, it was amazing. It was amazing to see and great for our crowd that came to cheer for us. And we really didn’t give them anything to cheer about until then. And so that was nice.”

On KG and his interaction at the end of the game: “It was more personal. He told me he loved me and I told him I loved him. You know, Kevin always checks on me, which is funny. That’s what he wanted to know; was I okay? I was laughing with our coaches; I said, ‘That’s typical Kevin.’ He’s walking off the floor playing 41 minutes and exhausted. Don’t know if we had won if he could’ve gave as much if we had a 1:00 game on Sunday. And he was checking on me, to see how I was. And that’s Kevin Garnett, in a nutshell.”

Does he hope this team stays together? “Yeah, I don’t know, I mean, I don’t think about any of that stuff. Danny (Ainge) knows me pretty well. I immerse myself; that’s the only way I can do it, probably to a fault. Pretty much unlivable, during the year. So I don’t know. I mean, Danny knows he gives me at least a week to do just whatever I do. And I don’t know what I do, sit and watch cartoons, or something, then we’ll talk about it. But Danny has already worked on stuff; he knows never to show me. I don’t want to hear it, I don’t want to see it, I don’t want to know anything. We’ll figure it all out, and we’ll see.”

Can KG and Pierce still compete with this team as is: “No. No, no. We need more. We need that little girl in the commercial: “We need more. We need more. We need more.” You know, we need more. And we do. But the key is, for us, you know, do you want to take away to get more? And that will be a decision that will be made later.”

On his decision to coach next year: “Yeah. I do every year. I do every year. You know, it’s not anything, I’m not leaning that way of not coming back, I can tell you that. If I told you right now, I’m coming back. But like I just said, I immerse myself and I need to just detox, and we’ll find that out.”

On Paul Pierce leaving the game and future: “No, no. Listen, I took him out at a point where he could’ve come back in, so I don’t think the fans knew at that point. He’s one of the greatest Celtics to ever play. He’s done so much for this franchise, Paul has. Listen, we live in a day and time where guys are changing teams like socks. And Paul has chosen to stay here throughout his career, when clearly he had all rights to leave. And he chose to stay here. So I have so much respect for him, for that. When I first got here, we were really rebuilding. And funny, we made the playoffs that first year, and I remember telling him, we’re going to take our team and things are not going to go well for a year or two. And it didn’t. And Paul, he never wavered. So I give him that, and just an amazing amount of respect. He wanted to get it done here, he made that choice, where other guys are running around trying to find it. Paul decided, ‘I’m going to stay here, and see if we can win it.’ And he did that. So I hope he’s remembered for that, and obviously I hope he comes back. I just don’t know right now anything because I haven’t given it much thought.”


On his emotions postgame: “You know you never want the season to end. Its tough right now on your home floor, but the fact of reality is it did. Right now, a lot of motions, a lot of things go through you head about the season, about what you could have did better tonight to keep the season going, about the future, you know it’s a lot of mixed emotions right now. It’s a tough loss, we’d be happy to be playing for Game 7, but unfortunately we didn’t get the win tonight.”

Evaluate his play in the series: “You know we were up and down all year, and then it showed in this series how up and down we were game in and game out, just unable to put anything consistenly for a number of games. Just goes to show you you cant just turn it on when the playoffs come. This is something we have to build throughout the regular season. We had to deal with a lot of adversity, but im happy the way we dealt with the adversity, bringing guys in, trying to help them learn our system…so many different things you can point your finger on, our inconsistencies, but at the end of the day you’re paid to go out there and compete at the highest level and know what’s going on, and its unfortunate that it ended today.”

On what team will look like next year: “You know that’s hard to say. I think that’s a question for Danny Ainge and his team to figure out, so I have no idea.”

Comparing C’s comeback to Nets game in 2002 postseason: “I thought we had a shot. You know we had the lead down to about 4 with two or three minutes to go, which is plenty of time you know but sometimes it didn’t go your way. I think we fouled Carmelo, we turned the ball over and they got a rebound, offensive rebound…so when you trying to make a comeback of that size, everything has to be kind of perfect. It was nearly perfect for us, but we fell just short.”

On what the team accomplished this season: “Like I said it’s a lot of things that’s going through your head right now. The game is fresh over, still got a lot of thoughts about the game running through your head. Its very hard to really tell you what the thought process going through my head is, or about the season when you got an emotional loss like tonight.”


On team’s 20-0 run: “Well you know basically we just trying to grab some momentum and just fight. You know we’re at home we play very well here, we have a lot of energy, obviously our fans are the greatest. We just trying to push for the last time. That’s what it was. We all said we wanted to leave it out on the floor, and that’s what we did.”

On emotions in the locker room postgame: “Very strong, very strong.”

On How much are you looking into next year: “I haven’t really thought about it to be honest with you. Im kind of digesting obviously the current. Doc came to me, pulled Paul and I to the side and all three of us agreed to speak later, too emotional obviously it was a big game, a tough loss, especially at home. More importantly in the future, it’s a different day for that conversation.”

On whether he thinks this group would have enough to come back and compete: “Do No I think we need some additions. Health hit us pretty hard this year and im sure they’re gonna address that.”

On How difficult was this season for him: “No different from anyone else in the league that has injuries”

On What will factor into his decision for next year: “Well one of the big reason I came here was because of Paul. Obviously you know y ou want to be in a situation where its better, want to make sure I can always help the team, want to be in position to where im giving something. I demand a lot out of myself, both physically and from a skill level. Ill be honest, or ill be lying to you if I said Paul didn’t play in to that.”

Jason Terry on offseason:

“That’s not for me to decide. I want to make sure im right, make sure my body’s healthy through this summer and we’ll see what happens.”

  • Had22B

    That picture is the exact definition of what being a Celtic is all about! Just beautiful!! I LOVE THIS TEAM

    • CelticsBIG3

      Yup and I'll be the first one to say I'd be willing to forgo a total rebuild this off season and see Pierce and KG give it one more go round…. Even if they faced a first round exit. With the contracts they acquired last season their hands are kind of tied. Might as well (granted if Kevin and Pierce want to come back) go round one more time.

  • Bira from Brazil

    These guys are the best! This team is too! Thank you! That’s all the fans have to say..

  • CelticsBIG3
    • GymRat

      What an incredible run. Wish Doc would've used the bench once we had it down to 6 with over 4 minutes left to play. Jet and T-Will could've given Green and PP much needed rest. Those guys could barely stand and those extra minutes might've given them the gas to finish the game strong. A run like that is physically and emotionally exhausting even to the youngest players.

      So proud of the way this team never gives up and never backs down.

      And so proud of the fans that stay to the very end cheering "Let's Go CELTICS!".

      I know it's tough to lose on your own home floor (especially two straight years in winnable series). But it's really great at the same time. Would you rather KG and PP walk off the floor in Miami or the MSG to boos and taunts…or be bathed in cheers of appreciation for their warrior heart.

      I really hope this wasn't the last game in green for those two.

      Let's go CELTICS!

  • Nick Magliozzi

    I could agree more with celticsbig. I love pierce and garnett. I know it will be pretty hard to make a deep run in the playoffs, but they can still be competitive. With a healthy rondo and sully they can win one playoff series and maybe two. I just hope Danny Ainge listens to the fans and gives these guys a chance to retire as Celtics.

  • GTR

    No matter what, Jason Terry has to go. I don't care if you can guarantee me that he'll have a renaissance next year and score 20ppg. The guy runs his mouth with nothing to back it up, and he's been a distracting headache who has drawn unneeded attention to the team all season long. There's a difference between being confident and being stupid, and Terry doesn't embody what this Celtics club is about.

    • Morpheus

      Yep, Terry and Bass need to go. Both these guys stunk it up all season long with the mindset that they will just turn it on in the playoffs. Well, you know what, screw both of them. This isn’t a league where you can just turn it on in the playoffs and expect to beat the other elite teams in a series..as we just witnessed. We were 1 game away from a sweep and you want KG and Paul to go out like that?

      I really hope Danny gets rid of both of these suckers…Celtics? Please, they don’t deserve to be called one.

  • GTR

    Also, what is everyone's perspective on Pierce heading into this offseason?

    With all due respect for him, the days of him carrying this team (or any NBA team, for that matter) are over. For all the late-game heroics he's pulled out this year, there are many more fumbles and bricks to his name. His presence only stalls the development of Jeff Green, who clearly has tons of potential but has yet to put everything together consistently. Buying him out for just his $5 million guaranteed next year won't help much seeing that they'd only go from being in the luxury tax to being on the brink, so either way they won't be able to sign any meaningful contributors. Conversely, keeping him with the team offers no real benefits to the team's long term goals either, unless he very unlikely settles into a bench role.

    • KB1

      I think you keep PP, let him retire here. Have him come off the bench and Green start. Limit KG to 28-30 mins per game and basically do what Duncan does, sit a game every now and then. They both have enough left to be productive for 30 mins or so, but asking them to play 40+ playoff minutes is a dumb idea. Doc should be faulted for not utilizing the bench, especially Randolph who could have played 10 mins or so and given KG a break, at least it was worth a try. In any case, a team with Rondo, Bradley, Green, Pierce, KG, Sullinger is a good core. Just need a big or two and a couple of good bench players like Terrence Williams. Perhaps we can bring Barbosa back if he's healthy, he played very well once Rondo went down and could be the spark of the bench we need. Even if that doesn't make us title contenders, it's much better than rebuilding. And you never know whose available on the trade deadline, maybe we find the piece to take us over the hump.


      • elroz

        No – limiting KG to 28-30 mpg is not limiting him. He has to be limited to 24 mpg -1/2 a game. He did 29-30 mpg this season and he will be older next season. I say for sure keep him and he will give a lot on the court and as a presence in the locker room, on the team, others will learn, etc. But I would play him at 24 mpg, not 28-30. Pierce I would limit to 30 mpg and no more – Jeff Green needs to play.

        A back-court of RR, Bradley, T. Wlliams as a PG, and C. Lee is not at all bad. I would trade JET and Crawford and see if I could use them to move up in the draft, or just take Terry and Crawford + 16th pick to get an all-star – preferably a big man. Of course 16th pick is the highest they get in 6 years and getting a good player, even a borderline all-star – would need cap room. So perhaps they could just get a young big man from the draft.

        With RR, Bradley, Lee, Williams, Sullinger, Green, Bass – this is not an old team. And if the veterans play 24(KG) and 30 (PP) min a game, then you're not really asking them to do a lot anyhow.

        We have not mentioned Fab Melo…and I HOPE he progresses enough in the next 6 months to play consistently at around 12 mpg. Otherwise, I would consider shipping JET, Crawford, 16th pick, Melo, Randolph, to get cap space to sign (or sign and trade) J. Smith or Al Jefferson or J.J. Hickson.

        • Morpheus

          Yes, limiting KG means playing him 22-24 minutes max. 28-30 will just fast track him into injury express.

  • stk

    I agree that Terry and Bass had underwheming seasons, but they both won playoff games as well. You add rondo and sully back to the mix and this team is pretty solid. I agree with those who want less mpg for kg and pp. I dont know why Doc plays those guys so many minutes at this point, but I do feel that Rondo may have learned some important lessons this year. Next year Rondo needs to focus on getting Green going on offense. Pierce is actually an ideal sixth man to lead the second unit, and I think having a captain come off the bench would be a great statement.

  • check12check

    I want to see PP and KG come back next season. They both have the right to retire Celtics, and they both still have a lot to offer this team. As everyone has pointed out though, we need to reduce their playing time. I know in theory you want big minutes from such fantastic players, but when they are gassed they aren't fantastic players anymore. I think green is a great solution for cutting down Pierce's minutes. We need a good solution for KG. I would be thrilled if Melo develops enough to handle that role, but i'm less than optimistic about that happening. I think he has the potential for sure, but last I remember seeing him he still looked way too rough to contribute. I will be interested to see what happens with this team in the off-season.