Still together: Pierce likes C's chemistry
March, 16, 2012
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Despite having the NBA trade deadline behind them, members of Boston's core shrugged off the notion that they can relax now without having to endure all the whispers about whether the team would be broken up.
Elsa/Getty ImagesPaul Pierce likes that Boston's chemistry remains intact.
So while captain Paul Pierce admitted he was a little bit surprised at the lack of moves by the team -- a rarity during his time in Boston -- he did express optimism about the Celtics' chances moving forward with its core intact.
"We have a group like this that’s been together for a while, especially me, Ray [Allen], Kevin [Garnett], and [Rajon] Rondo," Pierce said following the team's morning shootaround Friday at the Power Balance Pavilion, where they visit the Kings this evening. "We have a certain type of chemistry. That’s hard to replace, especially when you start getting into tough games or when you start getting into those playoff moments. We have a group that can really come together and make things happen."
Was Pierce concerned that the team's chemistry might be altered with a move on Thursday?
"You always have a concern, each and every year, when you’ve been in this league as long as I have and pretty much every year you’ve seen change," said Pierce. "For us to not [make a move], I think it’s one of the first years for us not doing everything in almost all of my career of being a Celtic, regardless of if it's a major or minor move. This is the quietest it’s ever been. You always anticipate something happening throughout the deadline, that's why I was sort of surprised."
Reports indicated that Pierce's name came up in deadline-day conversations, but he stressed he didn't sit around worrying about it.
"I didn’t really put too much thought into it," said Pierce. "I always understand the business of basketball. I’ve got thick skin in this business, being a veteran. If there was something that was going to benefit the franchise, then so be it. I’ll be happy for the franchise, especially after all the things they’ve been able to do for me. If there was something that was going to better the Boston Celtics for the long run, I’d have been happy for them. They’ve done a lot for me in my career, so it would have never been that hard for me."
Pierce suggested that instead of relaxing with the deadline behind them, the team needs to increase its sense of urgency as the playoffs near.
"The closer we get to the playoffs, the more sense of urgency we have -- the more you start to feel the energy, knowing that, when the big moments come, we’ll know what it takes," he said. "We understand the sacrifice and, with this ball club, we’re very confident. We feel like, basically you never know, this might be the last year we all play together, so you feel it even more than ever."