Paul Pierce is finishing out his Hall of Fame career with the Nets at the moment, after playing 15 seasons with the Celtics and rising to the top of many of the franchise’s all-time statistical leaders lists.
Pierce returned to Boston for the second time this season wearing a different jersey on Friday, but he’ll be a free agent this summer. And he hasn’t yet ruled out a return to the Celtics.
From Jared Weiss of SB Nation’s Celticsblog
Yeah, why not?” Pierce said when asked if he would possibly play for the Celtics again. “Maybe as a player, maybe as a coach. Who knows what the future holds?”
The 36-year-old Pierce scored 10 points in 33 minutes in a game in which the Nets trailed by a large margin for most of the night. But with the possibility that an injured Kevin Garnett will retire, Pierce could see himself looking for a new home again when he becomes a free agent this summer. …
“I am going to still have relationships here. I’m always going to come to this city. Every year, when I’m done, I’m going to have a reason to come here.”
Pierce has said previously he may want a front office role with the Celtics, and said Friday that he would like to open some businesses in the area in the future.
It would be difficult to envision Pierce returning as a player to this rebuilding Celtics squad at this late stage of his career — after all, that’s partially why he and Kevin Garnett were traded over the summer, along with the large salaries tied to those superstar contracts.
But it’s clear Boston remains special to Pierce, so it wouldn’t at all be a surprise to see him turn up with the franchise again in another official capacity.
Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.
Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.
In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.
The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.
The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.
Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.
The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.
The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.
18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:
That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.
LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:
The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.