Ainge addresses Rondo's play, rookies, Stevens

Ainge addresses Rondo's play, rookies, Stevens
January 19, 2014, 11:00 pm
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ORLANDO, Fla. — The second half of the season did not get off to the kind of start the Boston Celtics were looking for as the Orlando Magic rallied in the closing moments to beat Boston 93-91.

But it's clear that in Celtics GM Danny Ainge's eyes, success the remainder of this season can't be measured in terms of wins and losses.

"My expectations weren't that we were going to win a championship this year, when the season started," Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com on Sunday.

Instead of wins, the focus will remain on getting the team's younger players as much as experience as possible.

"But I understand you can't play five of those guys at one time," Ainge said. "So you have to be patient with them."

That's why he's not overly concerned with the roller coaster-like play of some of the Celtics' youngsters like rookies Kelly Olynyk, Phil Pressey and Vitor Faverani.

"We knew Kelly was going to struggle," Ainge said. "We knew Phil would have some struggles as a rookie point guard. We knew it would be different for Vitor playing in the NBA, than it was for him playing European basketball. These are all things we anticipated, so when we see it happening it's not a surprise at all."


AINGE ON SPECIFIC GOALS IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON

DA: "Just get better; just try to get everybody individually better, collectively better. That's what I'm looking at. How the guy's play, how hard they play. How well they play together, and how each player is developing."

AINGE ON RONDO'S RETURN SO FAR

DA: "He had some good moments. But I'm not judging Rondo right now. He's just trying to find his way back. I'm excited to have him back and anxious to see him progress."


AINGE ON WHETHER RONDO WILL PLAY IN BACK-TO-BACK GAMES

DA: "I don't know. We have to see how he's doing every day and make the best decisions based on that rather than pre-determining what we're going to do with him."


AINGE ON RECENT TRADES, ACQUIRING ASSETS AND THE FUTURE OF HIS CURRENT PLAYERS

DA: "I won't talk about that. It's not fair to the players. We're trying to evaluate all the players and see who we want going forward. And that's probably the biggest thing; who fits the core group of guys, who coach Stevens likes, how they all fit."


AINGE ON THE DIMINISHED ROLE OF VITOR FAVERANI AFTER SUCH A PROMISING START

DA: "His minutes have dipped because Kris (Humphries) has played so well. Vitor is a typical young player, trying to find his way. He'll get many opportunities to play before the season is out. He's had some great games. And he's had some games where he struggled a bit to find his rhythm, and a little bit lost on some of our defensive schemes. That's just as natural as Rondo not being 100 percent yet."


AINGE ON BRAD STEVENS HANDLING MORE LOSING THAN HE'S ACCUSTOMED TO

DA: "Brad understands, and he's learning, too. The NBA, the travel, the life, the players, the personalities ... he's figuring it all out, too. And I want him to figure it out. I don't want him to rely on old-timers like me who've been around the game for a long time. I want him to sort of figure out the best way to handle some of these things himself."