Doc: 'We'd rather stay where we're at'

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Doc: 'We'd rather stay where we're at'

SAN FRANCISCO You can add Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers to those who breathed a collective sigh of relief when the trading deadline passed and the Celtics didn't make a single move.

"Obviously, there were conversations as always," Rivers told Comcast SportsNet shortly before the team departed for Sacramento, Calif., on Thursday afternoon. "There were more calls coming in, then were going out. Just none of them made sense. We like our team, and we'd rather stay where we're at."

Rivers spoke of the ever-growing camaraderie and resolve that the Celtics have shown through what has been at times a tough and tumultuous season.

"It's just a good group, a good group to coach," Rivers said. "And the future will say how good we are as a basketball team."

Even though the trading deadline has passed, that won't prevent the C's from continuing to search for more frontcourt help, something Rivers acknowledged was at discussed often with other teams on Thursday.

"If we could have gotten a big, we would have gotten that," Rivers said.

The sticking point for the Celtics and most NBA teams looking to make a deal, centered around how to handle first-round draft picks.

"The way everyone is projecting this draft to be so strong, so no one wanted to give up picks," Rivers said. "And all the deals from everybody had that in mind."

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, made it clear that any interest in the Big Four would require teams to give the C's a package that would have to include a future first-round pick.

"(Other teams) were interested in our better players; that's easier to say then names," Ainge said. "But they weren't offering what we wanted. We just like our guys."

Still, Rivers and the Celtics still have an eye towards adding size to the roster.

A number of players were waived on Thursday to create roster spots for other players acquired via trade. Among them being former Celtic big man Chris Johnson, who was waived by Portland.

Rivers said the C's would certainly keep an eye out for any big men that become available either by being waived, or through a buy-out.

"Things like that, could happen," Rivers said. "But with the buy-out, you have to compete with other teams."

The most logical player for the C's to acquire via the buy-out process, is New Orleans center Chris Kaman.

He has been on the trading block for weeks, but the NBA-owned Hornets did not reach a deal.

"I would say if there's a big that's bought out and he looked at the roster, we'd be very attractive ... there's guaranteed minutes," Rivers said.

But if a deal can't be struck to add another big man, Rivers isn't overly concerned about his team's chances just as long as they can go into the postseason in relatively good health.

"If we started the playoffs playing the rotation that we have, we're good," Rivers said. "We only play three or four players anyway, as far as your bigs. Right now, we're doing that so we're good there. But if we can add another big, that would be nice."

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

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Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.