Two close, unimpressive wins over the banged up New York Knicks has not got made Celtics GM Danny Ainge go where plenty of Celtics fans already have.
He still does not regret the Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green trade, he told CSN New England.
Not yet anyway.
“I would do the trade over again in a heartbeat, as of today,” said Ainge. “But at the end of the season, I’ll look at all the things and I’ll be the first one to say . . . some things that we could have done or that we didn’t, or things that we did do that we shouldn’t [have].”
Ainge flatly rejected the notion that the Celtics lost their toughness with the trade of Perkins.
“That would embarrass me if I was Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce or Ray Allen or Rajon Rondo or whoever else,” he said. “[We] got one guy that’s tough? That’s ridiculous . . .
“It’s a team thing. It has nothing to with the presence of one guy.”
To be fair, having Kendrick Perkins around would not have helped in Game 2 — Carmelo Anthony and his ability to drain ridiculous contested jumpers is why the Knicks always had a puncher’s chance in this series. They have guys who can just steal games. (Jared Jeffries is not one of those guys.)
In the first game, when Amar’e Stoudemire was taking Kevin Garnett off the dribble and getting to the rim… yea, Perkins might have helped there.
But Ainge knows — he had to know when he pulled the trigger on this one — that if te Celtics do anything less than hang banner 18 this trade would be blamed. Whether or not it was the reason.