Danny Ainge appeared on the B.S. Report with Bill Simmons this past week to discuss the state of the Celtics and some of the decisions that had to be made regarding this year's team. The interview happened on Tuesday, but was not released until Friday.
Here is the full podcast
The most interesting part of the interview was a section early on where Ainge was talking about Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. He was justifying their trade to the Brooklyn Nets and said:
It came to the point where those guys as the best two players on a team aren't going to go very far. Those guys as a, you know, third and fourth or fourth and fifth, however you look at it, are pretty dang good still.
This quote says a lot about the trade and what Danny Ainge thought about the Boston Celtcs' chances at one more run to the title. It seems that he thought it just was not possible with this group of players, led by Pierce and Garnett. He obviously still viewed Pierce and Garnett as the two best players on the Celtics if he made that comment.
Maybe Ainge felt that Pierce and Garnett, either knowingly or unknowingly, were hampering the development of potential stars like Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green. Maybe Pierce and Garnett were unwilling to take a smaller role with the Celtics.
Also, what about the fact that Ainge still believed that Pierce and Garnett would have been the first and second players on this team. Isn't that what he's saying? Well what message does that send to Rondo and Green who have developed into very good players, and both will probably be All-Stars in the future.
Ainge clearly believed that if this team were constructed as it was last year, they would not have gone very far in the playoffs. There are multiple reasons for this belief.
Firstly, Pierce and Garnett would have to carry a lot of the burden, especially early in the year if Rondo is not back (Ainge backed of his opening night claim in the interview, saying he "didn't know" when Rondo would return. Classic Ainge, waffling on injury reports).
Secondly, Pierce and Garnett have not been able to survive an entire season as the first and second options, Pierce had no legs against the Knicks in the playoffs because of the offensive and defensive burden he dealt with after Rondo's injury.
Overall, Ainge's statement finally allows Celtics fans to realize that Ainge did not believe the Celtics would have gone very far with Pierce and Garnet as the top options. That lack of success would have put them into NBA purgatory, the 7th or 8th seed. The most difficult place to make any improvement. Teams get stuck their, just ask the Milwaukee Bucks.
Ainge decided to make a big move, and now, fans have a better understanding as to why. The Celtics, in his mind, would not have done much and would have been stuck in neutral for many years ahead. Now, he's made a move to speed up the process.
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