Post-game Reactions

The first domino to fall this offseason is Paul Pierce’s contract. Until Danny Ainge figures out what he’s doing there, little else matters.

As we wait for this decision, we also must face the rest of the offseason, which means it is also rumor season. With that time of year, comes plenty of information floating around. Some of it is valid. The rest of it? Not so much.

With nearly every possible scenario in play for the Celtics this summer, when it comes to the path Danny Ainge can take for his squad, it’s important to understand what he can and can’t do in regards to Pierce.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to break down the facts around Pierce’s contract, with some help from the indispensable Mark Deeks of Shamsports.com, one of the best NBA salary (and all things NBA) sites around the web. With this, it is my hope everyone will have a better idea of the facts surrounding the Celtics offseason moving forward.

FACT: Pierce is scheduled to earn $15.3 million dollars in the 2013-14 NBA season
We’ll start out simple here. Pierce’s salary for next year is the fourth and final year of the contract extension Pierce signed after the 2010 NBA Finals. Since the contract was signed before the new CBA was put into effect, the C’s can still amnesty Pierce at any time and have his money come off the books (while still having to pay him his full salary, unless a team claims him in amnesty waivers).

FICTION: Pierce has a player option or ETO for next season
This is a very important issue. There were false reports out there last week, (including one from the respected Tom Ziller at SBNation that was later corrected) indicating Pierce could opt out of his big contract and just sign a new one with the C’s. This is not true. Pierce’s destiny is solely in the hands of the Celtics and Ainge. There is no player option or early termination option for the captain.

FACT: Pierce’s contract for next season is unguaranteed before June 30th.
Like many long-term deals these days, Ainge left himself an out back in 2010, when he signed Pierce to an extension. For the 2013-14 season, the Celtics only guaranteed Pierce $5 million dollars of the contract, if they choose to waive him before June 30th, 2013 or in other words, the night before free agency. Danny likely put that clause in the contract years ago in case a variety of things happened (Pierce losing his abilities rapidly, Celtics in a full fledged rebuild, wanting to clear cap room for a rebuild, etc.) Now he has to make a decision on whether to exercise it. If the C’s waive Pierce, that $5 million dollars Pierce was guaranteed will still count against the salary cap.

FICTION: The Celtics would get under the salary cap by waiving Pierce
Waiving the 35-year-old by June 30th would clear $10 million dollars off the C’s salary cap for next season. Unfortunately, that would do little to improve the team’s spending abilities for next season. Currently the C’s have $73 million dollars in contracts guaranteed to 11 players for next season. If the C’s waive Pierce, that would reduce that number to $63 million for 10 players, but would not bring Boston under the salary cap, which will likely be between 58 and 60 million dollars for next season.

By waiving Pierce, the C’s would be gaining no real flexibility to spend on the free agent market, as they would just have their mid-level exception to use, in either case, barring other major roster moves. If Pierce were to stay, it would likely just be the mini mid-level (3 million) that would be available to Boston if the roster remains as composed now.

FICTION: The Celtics would be unable to sign Pierce for a team friendly contract this season after waiving him due to CBA rules.
This is where contract language is very important. If the C’s dump Pierce by June 30th, they would NOT be buying him out, only waiving him. By waiving him, this puts no limitations on their ability to sign him for next season. If they bought him out, new CBA rules limit teams from resigning players (Edit: only players that are traded by a team) for a full year from the date they are bought out. That is not the case here with Pierce.

FACT: If the Celtics waive Pierce, they lose bird rights on him.
Before you get too excited about that last piece of fiction, a sobering fact follows. By waiving Pierce, Boston forfeits all bird rights on Pierce. That leads us to another unfortunate fact.

FACT: The Celtics would be highly unlikely to sign Pierce to a new contract for the 2013-14 season after waiving him before June 30th due to their salary cap situation.
Remember all that committed money Ainge has on the books for next year? That’s incredibly limiting in this situation. If the C’s wanted to bring back Pierce on a smaller deal for 2013-14 after waiving him, they probably wouldn’t be able to do it, since without bird rights on Pierce, there is no real flexibility to sign him. The mid-level exception would be available, but Pierce is likely to command much more than that on the open market. Plus, it’s unclear if the team would even want to use an exception like that on Pierce when they don’t have to. However you slice it, unless Danny does so major wheeling and dealing of the rest of the roster to create salary cap room, this scenario isn’t happening.

FICTION: The Celtics will use the amnesty clause on Paul Pierce
Even if you put aside the bad vibes about amnestying a Celtics legend, doing this to Pierce really doesn’t make much sense for the Celtics, unless it’s accompanied by a couple other moves, that clear MAJOR cap space. Those scenarios are highly unlikely to happen, for a multitude of reasons I will get into in later posts this offseason. Without that possibility, amnestying Pierce still leaves Ainge at the cap ($58 million roughly) and provides ownership having to pay a fat check for a good player to play somewhere else. It’s not happening.

FACT: It is highly unlikely Pierce is traded to a team that will waive him before June 30th.
When you look at prospective trade partners in a Pierce deal for Boston, you have to look from both sides of the equation. Rebuilding teams probably have no need for Pierce, who is nearing the end of his career. If Pierce is dealt to a contender, they will want to keep him, not waive him for salary cap relief.

(PROBABLY) FICTION: The Celtics will waive Pierce before June 30th.
Taking everything I’ve written about into consideration, it’s very hard to envision a scenario in which Pierce is waived. Despite an awful Knicks series, he’s still a very good player. He’s not blocking the development of anyone on the team (directly). Ainge’s philosophy is always been trying to get value for a player before they walk away. Waiving Pierce would go against that line of thinking and would leave a disgruntled fanbase.

FACT OR FICTION: Pierce will be traded this summer.
This is Ainge’s only real move if he wants to get rid of Pierce and after looking at what the market was for the past couple seasons, I bet this becomes fiction. Not a lot of fits out there that would make sense for Boston. They aren’t going to trade Pierce anywhere, it’s going to have to be a deal to a team he’d want to play for. You can bet Ainge will be looking though, I just don’t see him finding the right package and destination to satisfy all parties involved.

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • James

    The C's may control Pierce's contractual future, but utimately it is up the Truth. If he wants to play another season, it will be in Celtic green. Ainge structured this current squad for at least a two year run – so I don't expect any major changes. KG and PP back, and hopefully RR stays healthy for the year and JG takes another step next season.

    • SteveZfrEdgemont

      Pretty well summed up and Pierce has no intention of not playing (retiring) it seems. Pierce was the team's most important and productive player this year and after asking so much of him and being forced to push him in the regular season, with all the injuries and the loss of Rondo, they asked even more of him in the playoffs, which was too much in the end. But had there been two days rest between that last two games in the series with the Knicks, he and the Celtics may have been able to overcome all of their disadvantages at least against the Knicks.

  • Jeff

    I feel like if they waived Pierce he would accept a 2 year MLE because he'd be getting 10M+ in year one and 5M+ in year two and he would be able to retire a Celtic

    • NHBluesMan

      but then what good does that do? The whole point of waiving/amnestying Pierce would be to give us the MLE to use in the first place. Waiving him and then paying him the MLE would basically just bring us back to where we started, with even less flexibility for the future.

      • Rav

        Wouldn't it save the team $5 million (and another $5 million in luxury tax)?

  • GymRat

    I might be mistaken – but isn't an amestied player subject to a blind bidding process? At least that's how it was with everyone amnestied prior to the new CBA. I don't believe amnestied players have any choice and teams don't know what the highest bid is. It's how the Clippers wound up with Chauncey Billups.

    • GymRat

      I'm actually correct on this point:

      Once a player is waived (under the amnesty clause), then what?

      Teams with cap space place silent bids for the player and the highest bidder wins, similar to an auction. A team can claim a player at a much lower rate than what they were under contract for. If a player goes unclaimed he becomes a free agent and is then free to sign with any team. One of the first players to be amnestied was Chauncey Billups. The NY Knicks waived him which opened up cap space for them to acquire Tyson Chandler. Unhappy about being amnestied, Billups released a statement via his agent warning teams he was only interested in playing for an NBA championship contender. He’s subsequently been claimed by the LA Clippers (remember they were terrible at the time and hadn't yet signed CP3). Yes, probably one of the teams he was trying to warn off. But the NBA isn’t having it. They’ve since told Billups he better report to the team or else they’ll take action against him. That’s the downside of the amnesty clause, from a player’s perspective.

      Why the silent auction bidding?

      – This prevents players from flocking to teams like the Lakers or Heat. Instead, non-contenders have a better shot at claiming players that wouldn’t have entertained them, otherwise, at a fraction of the price; hence Billups’s attempt at circumventing the system.

      Can a team reclaim a player they amnestied?

      – No, once they sever ties, that’s it.

      Full article:


  • GymRat

    The headscratching thing about Danny claiming Doc and KG will be back, but NOT saying this about Pierce is I don't see any way and any circumstances that has KG continue to play for the C's after they trade Pierce. He would most likely retire. There's just no incentive for him to be the defensive anchor of a rebuild.

    • SteveZfrEdgemont

      Doc, KG and Pierce will all very likely be back, but Ainge wants to say things the right way which he should, although based on the information above, the Celtics don't come close to being better off without Pierce next year just in tangible terms. When you take into account the intangibles it would make far less sense.

  • Think of it right now Boston resign pierce if y’all don’t resign Garnett will retire him n garnett r very good n close friends n teammates u need to negotiate if there a slight spark that Boston will get j smooth or al Jefferson or some star then yea but I feel that Boston will have a struggle on thinkn who to keep n who to let go pierce been a celtics since 98 n bird was drafted in 78 so he waited.a year until magic came u gotta keep trade or waive

    • anthony

      I agree get rid of any of them well fffffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!

  • Roy Hobbs

    Nice article, Brian. However, I'm not sure that this quote is accurate:

    "If they bought him out, new CBA rules limit teams from resigning players for a full year from the date they are bought out."

    I know that Doc cited this "rule" for why we couldn't sign Keyon Dooling, but I'm not aware of any such rule existing in the CBA. I emailed Larry Coon, and he confirmed that no such rule exists. The only restrictions on re-signing waived players are in relation to traded or amnestied players.

    • brobb7


      Good call. I was taking Doc's word on that, but will take Coon's word over his. My point was referring to the traded player rule in CBA, in the sense that if a player is traded, then bought out, he can't go back and sign with his original team. Like I said, that won't apply to Pierce here. Here the rule in Coon's CBA:

      A team cannot reacquire a player they traded away during that season (a season being July 1 – June 30). If he is waived by his new team, then he cannot re-sign with his original team until the one-year anniversary of the trade, or until the July 1 following the end of his contract, whichever comes first. However, if a team trades a player's draft rights, they can reacquire the player during the same season.

      • dslack


        I'm not convinced that there's a difference between waiving him and buying him out. A buyout is simply a negotiated salary for the remainder of the contract, together with a waiver.

  • elroz

    Very informative! I hope my brain can hold these things together, though.

    Pierce playing w/o Rondo – w/o ANY point guard – is not the usual Pierce…and that's what we saw in the NYK series.

    Why not trade Terry, Crawford, D.J. White to free up around $9 million? For 2013-14
    You got a back-court of Rondo, Bradley, Lee, and T. Williams as PG + Pierce sliding in occasionally at SG (Green taking minuets at SF) so you got 4.5 players at back-court. Terry and Crawford are not necessary.

    Feb Melo and 16th pick could see real NBA minutes next season – or instead th4ey should be used as additional trades.

    I would even package Terry, Crawford, 16th pick, and Melo to move up in the draft or trade for a good player with a cap-friendly contract (if Danny can find one).

    • SteveZfrEdgemont

      They may see some actual playing time for Melo next season, and if Sullinger is back at full health that will help. But I don't think we see if Melo has serious contribution to offer until his third season given his limited pre NBA basketball experience. Certainly cannot count on it.

      The key thing for the team to find, as it has been is physical and rebounding help for Garnett. Randolph and Melo may be good for the third and fourth spots on the depth chart in this role, but they need to find a real contributor for the second spot. I thought Darko had a chance to do that, but something didn't work out in that regard. That is the real piece this team needs and probably the hardest to find in the Celtics financial circumstances.

    • SteveZfrEdgemont

      I agree that the team is better off at guard than they were to start the season, with the development of Terrence Williams. I'd take my chances on Crawford and let Terry go. Lee was very good for stretches when he focuses of midrange shooting and aggressive driving. But I don't see too much trade value in the guys mentioned and I'd be reluctant to trade Melo at this point, without even giving that pick a chance and probably again would not get much value for him at this point.

      Green, Bass, Sullinger and Pierce make them solid at forward. Liked Green's development this year and expect that there is even more to come. I had written all along that I thought that Green would raise his game to new heights in the Celtics environment, and I think that process continues onward and upward. He seems like a great kid (who's becoming a real NBA man with Doc's ,KG's and PP's influence).

  • Vermont Celts Fan

    Pierce to the Clips for Butler and Bledsoe (and whomever else to make the contracts match). Clips new startig 5 is Chris Paul, The good Crawford, Pierce, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Not a bad 5. Pierce gives the team a proven champion to go with that young core.

    Celts get Bledoe and allows them the flxibilty to trade Rondo for a Al Jefferson type….

  • nfrench88

    Only $5 million is guaranteed, right? So can Pierce and the Celtics agree on an amount between that and $15 million for his final year of contract? Or no?

    • GymRat

      No. The $5 million guaranteed is what Pierce gets to keep in the case he is waived. If the Celtics keep him on the roster he is owed the entire amount. If he is amnestied the Celicts owe him the entire amount but it is not counted against the salary cap or toward the luxury tax.

      The only way for the Celtics to fully relieve themselves of his salary is to trade him – in which case they will likely take on a matching salary or salaries.

      • nfrench88

        Ah, gotcha. Damn it all. Pierce is my all time favorite. Used to look up to him. If he's traded, it will be the most epic thing when he comes back to the Garden.

        • GymRat

          I'm right there with you. I love him and really, really hope Danny keeps him in green. I don't really see any assets out there worth trading away everything he brings to the franchise.

  • janos

    hi bryan is janos
    thank you clear post of fact i was not now most these things we are all have roll nba celtics you are work and learn report of fact i am yell tv and drink a whisky thank you of fine season my friend is no better place to be internet then here nba celtics one time all time.

  • Aaronc33

    Pierce is one of the best celtics of all time and it would be stupid to trade him after all he did for the franchise and the way.he didnt give up on the team and he still is one of the best small forwards in tje league and he is a team player so he can stay in the green until he retires and thats when jeff green fills in and takes his place

  • hax

    Bass-Bradley-Terry-Lee-other $ bench guys for a 1st round pick in next year's draft.
    This opens up cap to sign millsap & keep pierce.
    If Doc can coach up jordan crawford to play smarter & less selfish basketball, he put up 20+ points in several games this year, mostly with wizards but yeah. Make the bench completely minimum salary young players.

    So Rondo-Crawford-Green-Millsap-Garnett
    Then Pierce + high energy young players off the bench. #18

    • hax

      Let's pierce retire a celtic, and gives us a good potential lottery pick in next year's deep draft which could give us a new center to replace garnett. Also drafting mclemore as a new ray allen…if we could trade up that easily.

  • check12check

    just a thought. why these contracts get structured so the player is going to make more money when they are getting older and will be less productive?

  • 2cents

    If the C's are gonna keep Pierce, for lack of getting anything better in return then Doc has got to start finding ways to maximize Pierce's efforts and not burning him out like the end of last season.

    Although I am completely against bringing Pierce off the bench, I am in favor of cutting back his minutes as they have done with KG these past few seasons.

    Less minutes for Pierce, more minutes for Green, and then hope the C's can put together a package to get a respectable big man to reduce the load on Garnett.

  • skeeds

    There's 2 things that in my opinion are crucial to understand the situation with PP.
    First of all, he's completely in control of his future, to an extend, given the fact that he can retire anytime he wants. If Ainge looks to trade him, it will be either with his consent or basically trading a dead contract.
    Secondly, Ainge has actually already solved the PP riddle. He might've preferred Pierce's and Green's combined contract value to be a bit lower, but still. Green has proven himself a valuable starter, a productive offensive weapon and keeps steadily rising his usage within the team's system. While Pierce slowly regresses and steps a bit back from the reigns, Green will take over the extra minutes and then some, since he's able to play the 4 in small lineups almost as well as the 3.There aren't many better solutions for the PP riddle, that would leave the locker room, the fans, the captain but also the team satisfied.
    Now, if Ainge could go ahead and do the same with KG, that would be great. (and impossible. No money to get a proper 25 minute a game center).

  • Geoffrey Ruch

    The real questions are: "How much does Paul Pierce want to stay with the Celtics?" "Is Paul Pierce willing to take less money to stay in Boston?" "How much do the Celtics want to keep Pierce as a mentor to Jeff Green, a partner to Kevin Garnett, and to see him retire a Celtic?" "Are the Celtics willing to overpay Pierce because of his importance to the Celtics organization, and willing to pay luxury tax?" It was mentioned that the Celtics could sign Pierce to a mid-level contract after buying him out, but that they would not want to do that, but if Pierce would be willing to accept this for the good of the team and its future, then, even though it is not ideal, it could be the best scenario if it could still allow the Celtics to sign and trade for Al Jefferson (eg. Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee for A.J.). The key is going to be communication and cooperation between Paul Pierce and Danny Ainge & the Celtics. If he wants to stay and the Celtics want him back, then it seems like they can find a way to make it work. It won't be easy, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. It would take some flexibility from both sides. Pierce needs to be willing to take less, and the Celtics need to use options that they probably would prefer not to use. But it would be so much better for both sides, it seems, than to try to trade Pierce, or for Pierce to walk away and sign elsewhere after a buyout. If Boston were able to trade Pierce for a lottery pick, or a valuable young impact player, and Pierce were open to playing for that team, such as the L.A. Clippers– his hometown– then it could be a possibility, but do the Clippers have enough to trade, and are they willing? And would it be worth the potential backlash from Celtics fans? And are the Celtics really willing to pass up the chance to win a championship just to save money and build for the future? And are they willing to upset Jeff Green and Kevin Garnett– and potentially push him into retirement– not to mention Doc Rivers. We won't know the answers to these questions for another month or two. I sure hope both sides take this time to seriously consider what is best, and I hope Ainge and the Celtics ownership comes to the right conclusion and we'll see "The Truth" back in Boston for another season, alongside KG and Doc, and with some help from the basketball gods, the Celtics will ready to roll for one more run to #18.

    • frost

      Ur so right but damn how long did it take u to wright that

    • GymRat

      The league doesn't allow for a player to be bought out or waived and then resign with the same team in the same season. Pierce's contract is what it is. If the C's buy him out or amnesty him (which they would have to to take his entire salary off the books) they lose all rights to him and can't resign him to their mid-level.

      The only thing that could be done in terms of bringing his salary down (not sure why he should do that – he earned that money) is for the C's to offer him an extension and restructure the next year of his deal as a part of it. It's what D-Wade did to allow the Heat to afford both LeBron and Bosh.

      I don't see the C's extending Paul another year or more and they'd still be over the cap regardless (as in waiving PP's deal still doesn't open up the money to pursue any free agents).

  • GymRat

    Seriously I love the Celtics, but some of the fans are just brutally misinformed when it comes to the value of a player. Here's the numbers:


    18.6 ppg 4.8 apg 6.3 rpg (19.14 per)

    Those are all-star numbers and he did this averaging 33.4 minutes a game and with a pinched nerve in his neck.

    Post season Doc abused him and he averaged 42.5 minutes a game.

    PP – 2012-2013 POST SEASON

    19.2 ppg 5.3 apg 5.7 rpg


    21.8 ppg 3.9 apg 6.0 rpg

    The numbers tell you the real story. Pierce (despite being run into the ground at age 35) was less than 2 points off his career average, put up better than career average numbers in assists and nearly matched his career average in rebounding despite being the focal point of the entire NYK defense.

    Yes, he had a terrible 5.3 turnovers a game. Because the guy was injured and friggin exhausted and often forced to run the offense as a point forward.

    Maybe if Doc reduced his minutes and didn't force him to take the burden of the entire offence he would have been even better. But all this talk that Pierce isn't still an elite SF and actually a steal for only $15 million is ridiculous.

    Show me numbers of anyone who did anything close to that in these playoffs that isn't a 20 something all-star (save for Curry who should have been).

    Be mad all you want that Pierce wasn't his old self, but asside from the turnovers he was one of the best producers on the floor.


    20.3 ppg 5.3 rpg 2.3 apg 3.3 topg (43 min per)

    Yes, Pierce could have played better and made some boneheaded passes, but we lost because our bench either never showed up, or never even got in the game to try. No team wins in the post season without role players stepping up big. Ours didn't.

    • Spoontang

      Yes!! Glad someone sees it for what it is. And I think everyone underestimates the affect that someone like PP has on the young players in the locker room. If we can keep him there another another year alongside Jeff Green then Jeff will be ready to take over this team!

  • KG PP

    "FICTION: The Celtics would get under the salary cap by waiving Pierce"

    Not sure this is fiction, if they waive Pierce, I am sure they know that Garnet will probably retire. Doesn't that mean that KG's salary comes off of the books? If KG retires, he forfeits his salary and they wouldn't have to pay him, i think 11 million. That would bring them below the salary cap. Wouldn't it?

    • GymRat

      Totally fiction. According to the new CBA any money paid to a player is included in team salary, even if the player is no longer playing or has retired.

      Boston is already committed to $73,064,519 in salary. With the cap being roughly $60M. Amnestying Pierce would put them just $2 M below the cap. But you can only go over the cap to sign players you have bird-rights too (Jeff Green for example).

      The only exemption of the salary would be if KG suffered a career ending injury and then he would have to file officially with the NBA office. He would still get his salary (its guaranteed) but it would come off the books. He didn't. So it won't.

      • KG PP

        Thanks for clarifying that. So they would have to package both Pierce and KG in a trade to get their salaries off the books which means that KG would have to agree to waive his no trade clause.

        In the event they trade Pierce and KG wants to retire; can the Celtics force KG to return? I ask this to determine if Danny would have to be concerned that if he trades Paul the decision would lead KG to retire and they would still owe KG his salary for 1 year.

        The third year is a player option so if KG retires that last year would be off the books, right?

        • GymRat

          "There's nothing binding about a player announcing his retirement. The player can still sign a new contract and continue playing (if he's not under contract), or return to his team (if he is still under contract) and resume his career.

          The only exception to this is when a player is still under contract, wants to quit, and his team doesn't want to let him out of his contract. Under these circumstances the player can file for retirement with the league. The player is placed on the league's Voluntarily Retired list (see question number 77), forgoes his remaining salary, and cannot return to the league for one year."

          If I'm interpreting this correctly the Celtics can't force KG to return, but they can refuse to let him out of his contract which would put him in breech if he doesn't play and force him to file for official "retirement". If he did, this would take his pay off the books.

          Most players don't officially file for retirement (for example Shaq is still on the books for the Celtics as a cap hold) since this allows them to return if they like.

          Only guaranteed money is paid and counts against the cap in the event of waivers, buyouts, and retirement. So you're correct, KG's third year would not count (though it may remain as a cap hold if the C's choose to do so).

          • KG PP

            Nice breakdown thanks!

  • swissflix

    I am not sure Pierce's number would have been as good if the Celtics were a better team offensively.
    Do not get me wrong, but i think his scoring would have slipped a year or two ago if this team was scoring more points. His numbers are still there, yes, but we also do not get past the first round anymore. That's a fact as well.

    • GymRat

      We did lose in the first round, that's a fact.

      But it's debatable why that is. You could easily argue that if we had Rondo and Sullinger Pierce would have played better and his scoring wouldn't have mattered as much and we could have advanced. Or that if Bradley played like he did in the 4th quarter of game 6 the entire series we still win.

      We'll never really know.

      • swissflix

        true, agree with you. but even if we had had Rondo and Sully you (like everyone else) would have been surprised if his scoring had not mattered 😉 Everyone expected him to be the number one scoring option this season, so some output should have happened. I am just looking at Golden State and realising what it is like if you have a team that can score the ball.

        Are people aware that Pierce did not have a single game where he went to the basket the way he used to do? All he did was shoot threes. His free throw number was down a lot.

        And while KG is still just as good as Duncan, there is no way Rondo will be ever a threat like Parker on offense.

        This is just my opinion. I love KG and Pierce and i wish it never ended, but i also think some celtics fans are way to sentimental (which is understandable). I also like Danny Ainge a lot and i am confident he will put together a very good team in the next few years. I just do not want to read posts about the 2010 playoffs now. It's kind of humiliating.

        • KG PP

          You also have to remember that a key part of Doc's offensive strategy is spacing on the floor. This allows Pierce, KG and even Rondo to operate. If the floor was spaced more in the playoffs, you would have seen Paul drive more. If the defensive is packing the lanes and the paint because they do not respect your shooters it makes it much more difficult to drive and score in the paint.

          Bradley & Terry were not making(and sometimes not even taking) their outside shots so opposing defenses could double Pierce and KG more. For Paul to score efficiently in the paint he needs space. For him to score the way he did with little help from the supporting case says he has more in the tank than you probably think.

          This is why Ray leaving hurt this team more than many understand. He spaced the floor by JUST sitting on the three point line and also with his movement. Many thought Ray was running to get open all the time, but he would also break down the opposing teams defense with his movement which made it much easier for KG, PP and others to score.

  • Tiger

    Great article, and a lot of good points on page one of the reader comments. Celts should work a deal with Pierce to keep in in green for two or three more years – full pay this year and lower pay the last two years. Rebuild around him. If KG stays too, rebuild around the two of them and reduce their minutes.