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Thursday, January 31, 2013
Doc: 'No talk about pulling the plug'

By Greg Payne

Quick hits following Celtics head coach Doc Rivers' weekly appearance on Boston sports radio WEEI on Thursday (click HERE to listen).

On Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge viewing the next nine games as a test before the trade deadline:

"I don't look at it that way. I think Danny likes our team. I think he thinks we can be a good team with what we have and I think Danny is Danny. He's got to do his job. He's just going to keep looking and see if he can help the team. But there's been no talk about pulling the plug or anything like that."

On if he'd lobby to keep the team intact:

"Yeah, I would, but I don't think we have to have that discussion. I think Danny likes the team as well. And, obviously we have to figure out against teams who will pressure us -- which, we'll get that -- what we're going to do. And if we can add another guard, we'll do it, but we're not out there searching."

On how much he likes his team, given its subpar record:

"Well, we were under-performing. We were under .500 last year and the year before. Every year we've made a lot of changes. We had nine new guys and I don't think people understand how important that is, when you bring that many new guys in. It does take time. I do think we should have been better than our record (was) at that point or is at this point. But, this team, guys are starting to play better."

On Jared Sullinger's availability (back spasms) for Friday's game:

"Don't know. That's going to be a day-to-day thing, maybe for a while. Guys, if you've had back problems and you start having spasms, sometimes you wake up in the morning and they're gone and sometimes they get worse. So I just think that's something we have to wait and see."

On what could be better about the team without Rajon Rondo:

"Well I don't know. I mean, the bottom line is you'd rather have him. But we do have other guys who do different things. Having Courtney Lee and Avery (Bradley) gives you size at the guard spot. So, they're more physical guards and, defensively, they can be more physical. So, in that way, that helps. Everybody just does different things, and that's basically who we are now."

On if a team really needs a point guard:

"I really think it depends on your system. We do have a system that can go either way. There are systems -- the old Phoenix system with Mike D'Antoni, you needed a point guard and a really good one to run that system. So it really does depend on the type of offense. The Triangle, you don't need a point guard, you need three ball handlers. And that's basically where we're at right now. We're not running the triangle, but we're running a spread offense that's similar where the point guard is not as important."

On how to get the best out of Jeff Green:

"Well, I think it depends on the day. (Yelling at him on Wednesday) was in the second half. I didn't think Jeff came in with the great concentration that he did in the first half, and that's one of the things we try to really stay on Jeff about -- staying focused and ready. You can't let your guard down. And then I was on him about a specific play. We told him we were going to get a switch for him and he would have, I think, Fredette on the post, and then he pops out to the (3-point line) when we were struggling for points. So, it was more that."