BOSTON -- Quick hits from Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who spoke at the team's annual Shamrock Gala at TD Garden on Friday night:
On how the team has performed up to this point: "Well I think we've played inconsistent, with all the different lineups and different faces, but I like our team. I think there's been a lot of great individual stories, and I'm excited for opening night."
On the play of Jeff Green: "I think Jeff is improving all the time as a player and we're excited about him, and he's a terrific talent."
On the emergence of Jared Sullinger: "Jared's played very well. I mean, I think he's earned himself great consideration for minutes on a good basketball team. We have so many players, I'm not sure how it's going to work, but, certainly, Jared is a worthy NBA power forward, and he'll probably see some minutes at center, and I'm just not sure how Doc will utilize him. But I'm excited from what I've seen so far."
On the decision to keep Kris Joseph: "Well, Kris is a great kid. He has high character. He works very hard. He's very athletic, and he does things that you can't teach with his athleticism, and I think Kris is going to be a kid that will spend a lot of time developing this year, probably won't get a chance to play, unless there's injuries, much, but we think that he has a big upside."
On Courtney Lee's potential with this team: "Courtney's a terrific athlete and he plays very hard. He's quick laterally on the defensive end, and on top of that, he's a good spot-up shooter, and I also like how he takes the ball to the hole. Him and Jeff Green are two guys that I think we haven't had, that can shoot the ball from the outside, but also take it to the rim and get fouled and finish at the rim."
On watching Paul Pierce improve over the years: "Before I got here, Paul was a terrific player and a terrific talent, but until you really go to war with a guy and you just go through the battles of the important games and the toughest moments and you see that he rises to the occasion. I mean, I'll never forget [Pierce] diving on the floor for the loose ball in '08. That was my favorite play of that entire season when Paul got that jump ball. And, you know, 45 points in Game 7. I mean, that's just what Paul is made of. You know you're going to get everything you can out of him and he rebounds, he plays both ends of the court, he takes charges. He's not just a scorer. He's a complete player that is a great scorer."