Friday, February 22, 2013
Ainge's goal: 'Get to the playoffs'
By Greg Payne
Quick hits following Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge's appearance on Boston sports radio WEEI (93.7 FM) on Friday:
On whether the Celtics can win a championship this season: "Things would have to fall our way. Right now we're trying to get to the playoffs and (trying) to get healthy and (trying) to get to the playoffs and see what we can do."
On why he didn't trade Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce prior to the trade deadline: "Because I really like those guys. I like Kevin and I like Paul a lot, and I didn't want to move them, and there wasn't any dictation to move them."
On whether he came close to any major moves involving Garnett: "Well, I think that's a tough thing to get into. I think it compromises the integrity of my relationship with people on other teams, so I won't go there. But, suffice it to say, I never talked with Kevin, and so there was never going to be a deal if Kevin doesn't approve it."
On why Garnett was maintaining his desire to remain in Boston prior to the deadline: "Because people asked him those questions. That's why he said it publicly and (it started) two weeks before the trade deadline. There's rumors, there's things that come up all the time. So, people just start asking the question and KG answered it in a way that -- that's why we love KG. KG is loyal. KG is that way. KG said he wasn't coming to Boston, he wanted to stay in Minnesota. Things weren't going so great in Minnesota, but he remained loyal to them, which is why he was hurt when things went down. It took him a long time to get over those things, so that's KG. I mean, one thing you have to say about him is he's very loyal, and right now he bleeds green and he's a huge, huge influence on the young development of our players. On top of being our best player, he has a huge impact on those in our locker room."
On what the goal of the Jordan Crawford deal is: "We're looking to replace (Leandro) Barbosa's scoring punch off the bench. Barbosa was a terrific player for us. We knew that he was going to play a role before the year was out. We didn't know it was going to take a Rondo injury for him to sort of get an opportunity to play consistent minutes. But we feel like we need a scoring punch off the bench."
On whether Crawford has confidence issues or has a poor shot selection: "I think it's a combination. What happens with a lot of players on losing teams is when players that need to be the fifth-best offensive player or the fourth-best offensive player are forced into playing that number one or number two spot, they're forced into taking more shots than a lot of players around the league who are inefficient offensive players. They're forced into a role they're incapable of being. So I think that his shot selection will get better."
On resisting the urge to be aggressive for the sake of being aggressive around the deadline: "So, going into every offseason we sort of draw a line in the sand of places we won't go, so you don't get caught in the chase. You logically think through the available players that you might do, so you logically think through what's best for the franchise in the short term and the long term. You always try to manage both and there's places you won't go. You try to identify the draft this upcoming year as best you can, and it's very difficult to do that for the upcoming years and so forth, and you sort of hold true to where you need to be and where you won't go."