Paul Pierce doesn’t rule out a return to Celtics

5 Comments

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

(via HoopsHype):

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.

Tyronn Lue says he has secret plan to fix Cavaliers’ defense for playoffs

AP Photo/Phil Long
3 Comments

Only one team that ranked outside the top 12 in points allowed per possession during the regular season won an NBA title. The 2000-01 Lakers, who were 21st in defensive rating, are the lone outlier.

The Cavaliers rank 22nd in defensive rating this season and have been even worse lately.

But Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue says he has a plan. He just won’t reveal it yet.

Lue, via Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

“We’ve got to hold back. We can’t show our hand early because … these are some good teams and we don’t want them to be able to come into a series and be able to adjust to what we do. We just have to be able to play our normal defense until we get there and then we will see what happens.”

Also:

“I think the rebounding hurt us. Rebounding. But it will be different once some other things happen. … Their two-guards, their threes, they still crashed the boards. But we have something to fix that. Just not right now.”

What precisely those plans are, Lue wouldn’t tell us. And here’s the other part — he’s not exactly sure they’ll work.

“I’m not confident, but we’ve got to” get the defense fixed, Lue said. “We have to.”

The Cavs ranked just 10th in defensive rating last season, among the worst marks for an eventual champion. But they cranked up their defense in the playoffs, especially late. Cleveland held the Raptors 4.8 points per 100 possessions below their regular-season scoring rate and the Warriors 7.8 below theirs.

Lue also unleashed a 3-point-heavy attack in the playoffs last year after sitting on the strategy through the regular season.

So, I have some faith Lue will implement a better defensive gameplan when it counts. It also helps to have LeBron James, who can still play elite defense when not in the slog of a long regular season.

But the Cavaliers’ defensive deficiencies right now are glaring. This roster appears to lack defensive potential, and their many miscues keep them well below whatever that potential is.

The challenge in elevating this defense to championship-caliber will be immense, maybe even unprecedented.

Mavericks’ Salah Mejri dunks while getting shoved in the gut (video)

Leave a comment

The Mavericks built a 13-point lead over the Thunder with 3:30left thanks to plays like this Salah Mejri dunk on Nick Collison.

Unfortunately for Dallas, Russell Westbrook happened.

Willy Hernangomez dunks on Andre Drummond, Pistons’ playoff chances (video)

Leave a comment

Andre Drummond and the Pistons couldn’t slow down anything.

Not Willy Hernangomez. Not the Knicks. Not Detroit’s plummeting playoff hopes.

After a 109-95 loss to the Knicks last night, the Pistons — who’ve lost four straight and seven of eight — are 1.5 games and two teams out of playoff position.

Terrence Ross 360 dunks his way back into Raptors fans’ hearts (video)

Leave a comment

In his first appearance in Toronto since the Raptors traded him to the Magic, Terrence Ross did what he has done best throughout his career: Delight Toronto fans with a dunk.

And of course the fans appreciated it, because their Raptors cruised to a 131-112 win.