Paul Pierce

Doc Rivers thinks trade could rejuvenate Paul Pierce

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It was pretty evident Paul Pierce didn’t love the idea of being traded. It seemed a situation where he intellectually understood this as a good move for him, but after 15 years as a Celtic is was understandably emotionally hard.

But Doc Rivers thinks it could be good for him.

Rivers, who left Boston as well and is now the coach of the Clippers, spoke with Newsday about the move of Pierce.

“I think in some ways, it may give him more life,” Rivers said Friday after being honored with a Sports Pioneer award at the National Association of Black Journalists convention. “But I just think it’s tough for him personally. Like he said in the press conference, he wanted to stay and wasn’t allowed to, and that’s tough for him.”

The Nets are an interesting melting pot this season. They added Pierce and Kevin Garnett to a team that already had Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez (plus now Andrei Kirilenko is in the mix). They have a guy the players respect in Jason Kidd as coach… with the question there being can he coach?

It’s a lot of parts to blend together, but it’s also a veteran group that could do it faster than other teams who get a makeover. Rivers got a thrown together veteran group to win a title in Boston in 2008, and he was asked about the Nets.

“I think it will come together,” Rivers said. “Listen, anything comes together when a lot of people want it to come together, and they have a lot of guys that want it to come together. Paul, Jason and Kevin want to win another title and everyone else wants to win their first. So if they all want to do that, then it all will work out.”

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.

Chris Paul finds brilliant counter to hack-a-DeAndre Jordan (video)

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I originally favored allowing Hack-a-Shaq as the NBA currently does. I found the strategy fascinated – why and when teams would use it and how their opponents would counter.

But it just became too common. Far too many games featured a parade of trips to the line, a boring stretch that made games too long. I thought the intrigue had run its course.

Then, Chris Paul pulled this move last night.

The Clippers guard saw Jonas Jerebko charging toward DeAndre Jordan to commit an intentional foul, so Paul stepped in front of an unsuspecting Jerebko and took the foul himself. That’s sent a good free-throw shooter to the line instead of the dismal Jordan.

Just an awesome heady play by Paul.