WEEI>On Demand>>Danny Ainge talking about the Celtics strengths heading into Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs

Danny Ainge talking about the Celtics strengths heading into Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs

Apr 14, 2011|

Big O and Michael talk with Danny Ainge about what the plan for the Celtics is as they head into the first round series with the New York Knicks. He also talks about what is expected from the starters, as well as Shaq making his return from his latest injury.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

I joining us right now low liability. Now hotline. Is Danny -- the president. AT&T -- the president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics mr. H -- you today. And doing well -- I calorie yeah Austin it. Always a Shaquille O'Neal -- and that's the bigger question. You know what. -- Just sort of walking through scouting report today so. I don't really know the answer to that. -- -- -- they were gonna do much today anyway thanks so we're. Do you still feel confident we'll see him in game one on Sunday. -- -- I'm hopeful I don't have I don't know I honestly don't know I wish I wish I had an answer or you. If -- if you're questioning. Whether we can do it or not is there a possibility specially if the team is doing well out of the gate. In the first couple games that you sit there and say you know what let's not rush him back were okay. Until you really start to feel the need something there. You know I I just I I don't even know the answer to that so we could of these questions usually. Well I mean like we can talk about it forever but I think that that's a decision that dock. -- doctor McKee in which -- We will talk about it you know when the time comes -- will this try to make the best decision. -- sets out based on what he can give us I mean. I don't know what he can give us a Sunday but maybe you'll try -- -- will determine like what he's how well he's playing in I don't know. It does the uncertainty in your voice have anything to do with the setback that. Shaq may have had. No I I I just. You know there's just been so much talk in I've talked with tricked our trainer and her doctor and Shaq and you know I just I I sense a little bit of uncertainty. Or. You know is it better to hold him out that -- degree is that better you know play him in game line you know and Jack wants to play in game one it feels like he's ready to -- -- once so. You know I don't know what's gonna happens. Everybody -- the fear when they saw the the latest injury. After the five and a half minutes that was -- -- it turned out not to be the the Achilles but art is this not what you're dealing with. And you've got a 39 year old player. -- has not been able to play or work out on a regular basis so he's not ramp up physically. To wear these other players are and yet he's going out there is kept competitive juices. And he's gonna give it his all and then suddenly once he does that it may not be that after -- Danny could be a look at me something else. That gives is does does that concern. Sure. Cure all that concerned -- that -- -- with every player with -- -- heard -- obviously Shaq is a much higher risk. Of injury then and only other players because of the mileage in the age and in the entries -- -- question. I mean that's why we have a lot of depth at center mean that's why we have a lot of depth at an early year. And you know I think that we still have a lot of depth there I think Jermaine is shown that he can play and he expression. And you know feel this precious piece of all year and Krstic in Glen Davis has been our closer for the last two years anyway at the end game. And in this series in particular will probably -- KGB has. These start up you on the series matched up against bottom -- Stoudemire is gonna play a lot of senator. And so. That made you know I have stopped playing. KG at at center with Jeff Green at that at the war. So you know I don't know I mean -- the tough matchup for any of our senators. What we're -- well. I don't I don't like KG at the fiber that's a different can make sense of -- guys playing their positions yet but did he KG is a war plane again Stoudamire. Oh we don't -- -- at at the four I think is is great Kay -- Stoudamire select different that they put -- guards up there was Stoudemire. Who's our senator gonna guard. I don't look at -- right center anyway blah you know -- jackets are Danny I just wanna get your sense of I you see this team going into the playoffs -- you see the team in general ICM compared to where they were last year going into the -- into. I'd love -- I love our team and I liked it better than I did last year without question. Better than last year I think last year that the answers the questions were much more significant. Paul was not a 100% healthy at the beginning -- -- we have serious concerns about the gene -- and into the playoffs but he was still limping in the last. Regular season game. And miraculously the first playoff he would mean the -- not limping and you know plain. Packet KG. Pay so. I had much more concerned last year and then this year. I like their bench better I like Delonte and Jeff Green. And Glen Davis and Jermaine O'Neal I mean you're talking about or guys that started on playoff teams. That have produced on playoff teams. You know we we feel like we have. You know -- really really strong. Bench and I think that that's gonna help the well. It's interest and say that in the a year ago we look at it. And there were a lot of questions is no question about it. But I think everybody felt there was a system and if those guys get enough rest. And they were healthy that when you opened up because of the experience. Of the veterans. Who had been there before that you guys would be okay but you're right that was there were a lot of questions about whether they could get to that point. This year it's seems to me. That they are healthier certainly the key guys like KG and pierce and and Allen and and and Rondell. But coming down the stretch they're not sure of what they are and what the system is and I would that would look at the Chicago. In Miami game why did they played so poorly. In those two games that was something at stake there's something to play for and a team played poorly in both of those games. I don't know I mean we put poorly in games like that last year big game that showed up ready to play that we just didn't have been resolved -- And -- you what you ought to also remember that last year's team. Going into the playoffs. Our biggest concern still held was rebound. We were a terrible rebounding team last year. We have a bit agreed to be on the team this year. That last year that was our biggest concern was our was our rebound we were not good rebounding team and we were not a good -- -- -- Turned the ball over too much. You know so you know every team -- a year even into the same guys you have different issues. But this year. I think it like a bench electorate death. At the center position. I think that we're solid there with you know with the without Shaq. In. Especially in the first you know couple series. And I'm I'm excited they did they come I haven't been this paper series since that to a balcony. We breathe cigarette 2008 Danny and even last year -- the guys in Gwinnett you look at that eat either of the 23 position or 34 position you had a guy. Who could who can make some shots and locked down another team score even if it was for ten minutes so James Posey was that guy and -- -- -- and then Tony Allen was a guy last you do you feel like you have a guy this year. No it in a different way. You know I think this I think Tony Allen for sure with the lockdown defender right James Posey was by no stretch a lockdown defender. But jeans with a veteran player he took charges. He -- you know he knew how to play. But I would not consider him a lockdown defender. There are former Seattle when I would. -- you have a do you have a and then you'll get I think that's fair do you have. James Posey type or even somebody who can the bright side at. I I think I think I think Jeff green. Is you know is it is a terrific player and gives -- overall production. -- more than Tony award James what he does on the glass what he does in scoring. A we have an had a ten point to keep score. Ideally -- the defender of the holiest by any stretch it up at three point shooter at the James Posey is but you know you -- you know you can give him the ball in the post. He's more personally can it you can keep the ball coming off screens. There's a lot more things that he could -- -- In the off and than either one of them. There were rumors out to that you attempted to get to O'Neal back this year than -- -- the -- scary injury and they needed it was there any truth to any of those rumors I can't. -- -- -- Oh yeah we love Tony I think that. -- when you look at the at the next what concerns you. The most about playing a series against the next. Little bit and the greatest fear I think is just to respect they have war. Chauncey a Marty and Carmelo it finishing games you know in close games. Coming down the last two or three minutes of the game those guys are just the kind of players they can score on creepy that. You can do everything right defensively and they still make baskets. And that's what they're great players in them that's probably my greatest fear. I wanna switch gears just for second and ask you about. That Kobe Bryant situation. -- he was find a hundred grand. It's a significant amount obviously. -- something he said Q official Bennie Adams do you think. That fining players for language on the court is that in bound story you just yet what do hear opinions about. Uh oh what was said in the find that went with it. You know. Bet that I don't know I mean believe there's some there's only cameras around. There's so many you know people's you know call in the end. -- actual people said it. I don't know I -- I think Kobe topology was a good paying I think that he goes he was wrong it should just said we said. I think there's. You know there's certain there's certain things that you should never say -- the matter what. In down. You know I think that David church trying to clean it up by respect that. But a lot of it is political correctness right now by the way. That violates the honor code doesn't it -- -- I -- -- Clinton which I got the. I don't buy it -- I think that a 100000 to -- a public that is not near that is the innocently give you find 30000 dollars us sitting next associated with the. -- -- It was awesome that you're just you're just you're just following directions is that right here mastering some other team sets you -- those -- that's what I think it was. But if it's local correctness and we're talking about this earlier. -- just use the F bomb over and over and over again against the officials it's done every single like nobody what is that word right but in this case you've got a group felt offended by it and so they put pressure on the commissioner. And the commission has got to do something about it we're talking about the fact that. That you hear Kevin Garnett. From time to time use the inward out there on the floor you when I've talked about this before. And that's one of those that I guess since he's saying it to another black person and he can get away with a little white guy says it. We're probably dealing with the same situation. So. Bush is not cleaning up any of the language out here he's cleaning up the language that is offending specific groups is an. Right the week you know we know everybody knows what culture we live -- now. And that we know with politically correct and what's acceptable on the court and that. I think Kobe be the first one to say he mean feel like it was exit excessive and in all that -- I think that he still knows he's wrong he's appealing right. So was appealing this the law because it you know maybe those of successive. Maybe in his apology was enough for maybe he thinks smaller fine bit. And he gave an apology for it -- You're David -- -- you usually open about this reducing these -- come back -- you know you're right Kobe you're yeah you're has -- sixty grand. I can't comment. How -- that at at at a yeah sort of appeal yours I -- said listen I just sat in the seat that they they put the and I had no choice. About the -- houses there the woman wants. In the bottom popcorn Minnesota but I know about it though. Understanding -- hundred dollar bill and you -- you sound very optimistic about your your team. And yet. Did doesn't seem to be the same optimism out there in in the community where we all missing. Well you know hey listen I'm -- are more optimistic than -- was last year and I'm optimistic because. I believe in these guys I believe in what's inside -- but what -- been great throughout their careers. My greatest fear obviously hell. And it was still up 28 games in you know every playoff game is like two regular season games in the intensity. And and even though we do have rested between like that active of the playoffs. I think our guys at the end you know subconsciously. Pacing themselves. -- regular season last part. And I think they believe in themselves. And my greatest other -- would be the fact that I really respect the people were playing I think it. The polls the magic the X he mean they're they're very good teams. And you know we -- it going to be just seem to see how we how we stack up last year Cleveland and Orlando where the teams to beat. You know we put together eight in games stretched that was that was amazing the against them and and know what's inside Rondo. In baby in the latte. Paul KG and -- you guys that we. We've been through this with before and a competent in the other guys there is too. So. You know -- I'm just excited and they're gonna give a great effort. And know that they I would agree coaches they're prepared. It would be fun. You know Danny we we keep saying on the radio. And people on and newspapers TV everybody's saying. This was a huge gamble this -- was huge gamble for you. Did you see it that way is this -- trade where you UN back and forth on admin and possibly lost sleep on or. Is this just the price don't business. Not on there but there's a lot of discussion. And deliberation and you know back and forth on all this you with the whole group of that. And it what it was not easy for sheer. But in the end. It was unanimous. That everybody wanted to do the deal. And with all the things involved with and of course with every deal there's some risk. And so you know we -- we felt that we had enough depth that we you know we felt like if one of the O'Neal of the -- and you know we may have to many senators that we don't. I Shaq was playing great -- playing great and -- -- we -- you know we we felt confident that you mean would be back. So. Let's check out when you get you out but it wasn't playing Brady wasn't at all but he had played great in you know with. One would -- I checked the -- -- you know chuckling played 37 games -- this season. I think that we. You know hope this week it if he had Shaq. You know Germain played 22 -- up 23 games like him. Number but you know I think we've probably hoped we get 55 or sixty team that Jermaine. But making the deal was and has made on the premise that sounds the way you're talking. That you. Really put a lot of faith. In Shaquille O'Neal 39 year old Shaquille O'Neal that he was gonna be able to go out there and give you significant minutes. We put big mess we felt that between. Shaquille Jermaine Krstic and baby. That we had a solid center position -- That's what we have two weeks ago. The other thing I've heard you say is about marquis century and it makes sense to you had to have somebody to back up all and and a and a and raise it as well. Could you have gotten maybe not as good players Jeff Green. Could you live enabled -- that knowing the minutes that you add to -- could you be able to do that was one of those players. It was going to be bought out by -- -- -- -- roster. Sure. You know we we it was a it was a few things that we. Saw how important was it that as you you've referred to a numerous times when you talk about. Make in the deal we talk about marquis said gone down and you need to define. That back up at the two. And three how significant was that in making. This deal if -- if you admit that you you could have got somebody else -- -- actually -- -- assuming that someone else we -- ago was as cruise ship green light them not that bright how many minutes gonna -- -- harder on a 55 win team. You know in the third leading scorer on a 55 win team. You know so that's a big that that those guys aren't out there sit around you know easy -- yet. And so we feel like BB upgrade the chip has been -- You get sick and tired of hearing that everything return on ESPN every time you turn us on. We're talking about it because it's what Celtic fans are talking about the whole season seems to the judgment. On that trade you've you've always but the gambler he is not not -- excuse me BYU people not in that respect gambler as a general manager. You've taken -- risk and you've made some deals that certainly. Who worked to perfection for yet. Yet. It seems to be though this whole season. Is going to be judged on that one trait is his drive you crazy. No because first the ball the full if the focuses on me and not on any -- else that that's awesome. That's the best thing to have happen second of all I don't really -- -- except when people laughed the about it. Third of all. You don't see. You're right and I think by personality is like. You know I'm not afraid to make chance I am a little bit of a gunslinger that in personality and you you've known me for a long time. You are you perfect for the job of I don't think you get fazed by it. But the you don't that the difference is is that I'm not working on a violent and deals like that are done. Without a consensus. And so there's checks and balances I'm not. A guide it's just you know controlling every everything in in doing everything especially Billick is at the time like. So. You know we we we discussed every possible scenario we discussed we knew the risks we knew everything. And at the end of the season. Local back and we'll look at everything. -- back it'll say okay it was there's a lot of things first of all that we're gonna evaluate trade that possibly we could have done that we didn't do. It's free agent signing that we did regions signing that we could've done and we didn't do. All these things that would be evaluated -- government be the first one to say I mean. All the things that we could've done this year and that we didn't do. But. If I had to do to -- again today. Based on all the information that I still have had the right now I would still do the deal. Well all the masters Danny is that trade. Already has success or did you guys have to win a championship or give back to the NBA finals for that trade to be a success camera. I don't think they'd be NBA finals are championship are determined by this trade. Just like I don't think that you know. One player. In this scenario a role player determines whether we in the championship or not I mean. There's. You know we've won championships before I think you know I don't wanna talk about Kendrick give them a big -- can expect. You know I don't think a bit. It it's my job by two disk to try to discern. The reason. Why we're successful. And not successful not listen to public opinion. Not listened to ESPN. And to try to determine whether it's successful or. What everyone else thinks is successful it's my job when people are saying hey -- should be fired or. Or Doc Rivers should be fired or. The Celtics you do this not on spoke to identify the real reason. Why we're not winning or why we're not playing well and not public opinion and I think that right now the way we complaint has absolutely nothing. To do with the trade but everybody else wants to make it seem that way. And I think that it -- the year. Will know. You know what the real reasons are we won or lost and and we'll know if if it's becoming backs they -- -- what -- we wouldn't have been a trade maybe this would have been better. And this would have been better and given us a better chance in be the first wondered if that. When you made this decision originally not to trade but the original decision to put together an older veteran team and then you ended up. Winning a championship you knew you had a window. If you don't go deep into the playoffs with this cast of characters and this is an older veteran team that a year from now. Probably not gonna get better daily you have to make some serious decisions in this offseason based on how DP going to the playoffs this year to determine. Where this team goes. So you know and again -- I think that you know we're always talking. You always ask me questions on result. You know I think that is -- depends it depends on how well they play what are the reasons why we lose. Who is the one that isn't playing well who is the person that I think it needs to be changed or what in the chemistry isn't good it anymore. In a -- but get to this summer but you know going into last year's playoffs. You know I was I was. Very frustrated I I did not like what I saw. Going in the playoffs I didn't believe in their heart in it but it just didn't know they could do it. You know again my fear was cagey I mean nobody has a bigger heart -- PG bit. Watching him live does not real encouraging. And you know he's good he's of vital part of it you know watching Jack limp he's not as critical to our success obviously is -- it. And so -- was going into last year's playoffs. Along with the fact that we just were plain. You know ugly basketball. And I was ready to evaluate the playoff season last year and -- be the same thing this year. In you you talked about Rondo early and you know what's in Rondo and you know. What you can expect from Rondo got a little strange I don't know if you've seen it yet but. There's a promotional video promoting the association. The series that the ESP it has been featuring -- default when your team. For this Friday's episode which apparently was done well after the trade was made -- the last episode. We saw the team's reaction about the trade that's understandable he was their friend. I mean you've talked about a doctors talked about him in glowing terms are difficult to deal with. I understand the emotion there. But once again Rondo in the promo and again I haven't seen the whole show ESP installed the -- out there and for specific he's thrown out there. Where Rondo once again is bringing up. The whole idea of missing you know not being able to do the same things he normally does. Are you in any way why you feel so confident. That you're gonna be able to get this great play on out of out of -- that we. We seen that able to do that nor means he normally does not traveling going into malls -- going to dinner with these are the court optical optical. -- So that's affecting his play. Well something's affecting his plan. I think -- bought here a long series but he's been inconsistent right. Of keeping it very that would be embarrassing. To admit. That. For any player to admit that you know not going to a mall or hurt you or something like that would have something to do with my play on the court. Or who would like to do to save them. Like what I would ever even imagine what I would you -- but I would feel the same way but why is he not playing. At the same level -- was playing before I'm agreeing with with few if a player is using that as an excuse or that's the issue we sadly he said because his friends gone. I don't think there's any place for that but there's got to be some reason specific reason you're unless he's injured. That Rondo was not playing consistently. At the same level we have seen them play here before. Right in -- I I I I have my theory I don't think it has anything to do with that can share with us -- I think he's tired I think he blocks of competence. I think he was pacing himself and because because -- you know his hand was -- -- -- rules or but you know the bottom line is. Let's just wait and see what Rhonda we see now let's not worry about what Rondo. Was playing mean you know day in Indianapolis. In middle of march I mean it really is insignificant to the -- scheme but Chicago Miami this past week right right he wasn't playing well but what about San Antonio he respect. -- -- -- You know after he had impressed. So but it has and hasn't been consistent I understood so you'd think that do you think he can track because we know he's capable of doing again is no question press capable don't it's. Is it not frustrating that you're not seeing it on a daily back and how much -- that you said some fatigue do you think this week getting the rest off might provide them. Well that this league championship on the played terrific in game one in game two of the finals. And in game 345 key -- -- play well at all. And in game six with the best players in the planet. I mean you know that sort of what we've been through with -- and -- some night. There will be. Six hall of famers on the court in this year's series they may be more unity which in part. Big or in -- mean who -- Carmelo and Stoudemire Chauncey. And all those guys on the court. In starts gain. There will be a game or two if -- he will be the best player in the -- right. That's how we're on the -- it and then there's games where. The pace is slower and there you know forced to shoot more and take -- some things that you know it's not just. His will it's not just his. Sometimes that's the topic being built when we when we played in the eighties enemies and we played the lakers -- -- it was a 12220. In the next game was 8280. Every game is different every situation is different adjustments -- -- -- some guys -- just may need in some people with Justin you know better than others to the adjustments and and so. Yes he's gonna have some up and counts you know -- I just feel like every one point fingers at Rondo. You know they think that raised not shoot the ball because -- Well you know would have the pace and Raymond happy it in the open shots we saw the of the day in Miami to catch on replay. Dwyane Wade -- playing some pretty -- defense on Ray Allen where he wasn't earlier in the year. And you know means offensive that -- got to give the opponents credit. I mean and that's an EU -- back in Miami is it being good team and so was LA and so is Orlando and those New York. Other dynamic scoring team in a scary. And you know we don't bring our a game in and will be in trouble but you know I believe our guys who will be prepared in in in -- Given everything man. Let's get to the SP -- no nonsense question of the week we actually have two of them because. Bomb we didn't have -- last week it's brought to you by SP ally the first question comes to us from Fred Millman. Of Denver's -- and Fred asked the question if Shaq can't go in the first round of the playoffs what do you feel gets the bulk of minutes center. I think that. Jermaine gets the start. And maybe it's the finish with the possibility of -- getting the finish. If you know things are going well and and it depending on how he's playing but I think it. And then you know sort of the in between minutes you know Krstic -- probably get some run but I think it'll be a three headed monster. At center with possibility in the New York series of KG elect has said because. They'll play of a power forward in or guards. Or power forward Carmelo and three guards. And you know we may feel like our matchup -- we elect a matchup better with KG it's thinner in depth series. May be a way to play for some minutes. And -- -- think things you can do I think of these first two series there -- here's question number two Kevin Cunningham. Of south yarder at Massachusetts Kevin asked what is the bigger priority this off season to -- re sign. Big baby Davis or Jeff -- You know I'd I don't know the answer to that depicted they're both. Valuable players and they're both the players in there's the -- there's a lot of if in. You know we'll watch them -- still evaluating both of them as we go to the playoffs. Mark your answer that question to give -- guys. Television show up for the -- playoffs started right there I'd next time we talk to the B a couple of games play will do it next week ending -- agree it would gridlock in the playoffs alright -- thanks for anything you go. Danny -- right Europe -- on the big show. That you're no nonsense questions of the week one chance to any question rises. Michael McGrath basketball's visit as the allied dot com slash basketball you submit you questions that's ESP -- dot com slash basketball. Courtesy of SP like he's very optimistic until it. He's going to be a Solarz peace that he truly better about this feature lean that he did about last year and known for a long time to actually believe. I'm not sure -- buy that do you -- that that you feel better about this team this year like this I buy it because I remember what people were saying last year. Now you're saying it you can claim that quality you're able going to retire they went they went I thought they could get. To the NBA finals maybe today the Eastern Conference finals but I didn't think they would go as deep as they sell a -- them. And credit but I 173 games -- or. 739. Mike and Mike. Think elegantly very optimistic Michael's Oklahoma he thinks they might lose -- playoff games and just you're not the first series 220 -- -- a Moses Malone in the final -- for for -- fall -- -- fall in LA -- -- like an -- open it up and we'll take your phone calls. You as optimistic as it did ages 6177790888885. -- early. This interview with -- Danny Ainge has brought you might be our best restoration specialist ERS serves all of New England 24 sevenths at. 8774611111. Or they -- -- dot com. They might ask the allies that no nonsense like insurance company. Making coverage for your team at home even more affordable with the new lower rates for men and women. -- as the -- dot com today.

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