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Raptors trying to focus on Wizards, not just Paul Pierce

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Pierce talks Game 1 win

Paul Pierce talks about how happy he is with the Wizards' performance against the Raptors in Game 1 and how he was able to make sure he would be healthy in the playoffs.

TORONTO -- It engaged their fans and prompted a profane response from their general manager but the Raptors want to move past the focus on Paul Pierce's commentary as they prepare for Game 2 of their series with Washington Wizards.

"Paul Pierce is a Hall of a Famer. I give him a lot of credit, he got everybody's attention," Raptors guard Greivis Vasquez said Sunday. "If we keep talking about Paul Pierce this is going to be a Paul Pierce series, not the Wizards. What he's doing is motivating his team, talking trash so why would we talk trash? We don't have any trash talkers in our locker room."

"If we keep talking about Paul Pierce this is going to be a Paul Pierce series, not the Wizards. What he's doing is motivating his team, talking trash so why would we talk trash? We don't have any trash talkers in our locker room."

Greivis Vasquez

Pierce grabbed attention in a pre-series interview when he said the Raptors didn't have "it," and didn't worry him as an opponent. Then Pierce, after he prompted Raptors fans to boo him heavily and GM Masai Ujiri to curse the statement at a rally before Game 1, went out and scored 20 points in the Wizards' Game 1 overtime victory.

After the win, Pierce said he felt he could play a "psychological war." The Raptors, despite the lead of their GM, don't want to further engage.

"We give him a lot of credit, he's got big balls, that's the reason he's The Truth," Vasquez said referring to Pierce's nickname. "What else can I tell you? Good for him. He's a Hall of Famer. I love his game, good for him. I've got a picture of him. He's an idol, that's it. But we've got to play. But you can stop asking questions about Paul Pierce."

When word of Vasquez's comments reached Pierce in Washington, where the Wizards returned for two practices before Game 2 on Tuesday, he had no comment. Wizards coach Randy Wittman dryly replied: "All NBA balls are the same [size]."

The Raptors, however, do have some things to do to deal with Pierce. Wittman found some success putting Pierce at power forward in small lineup for stretches in Game 1. Though the Raptors quickly made some adjustments within the game. Nonetheless, that lineup was a plus-5 in a game that went to overtime, making it a difference-maker.

"I guess Paul has [talked trash] before ... and he's a master. He's got a championship so I guess he's been successful at it," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "I haven't seen very many times that people talk their way to winning a game. If that what he feels, that's fine. He's a great player and his game speaks for itself more than anything he's put in print."