Garnett reacts to trade rumors: 'I bleed green'

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Garnett reacts to trade rumors: 'I bleed green'

WALTHAM, Mass. While the Celtics aren't looking to trade Kevin Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers, that doesn't mean the perennial All-Star is convinced that he won't be moved before the Feb. 21 trade deadline.

Garnett has every intention of finishing his career as a Celtic. But he knows all too well in the NBA . . . anything is possible.

Ever since Garnett arrived in Boston, Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, has been focused on doing whatever is necessary to position the C's to be one of the last teams standing.

"Danny made it obvious . . . that he was going to do what's best for this organization," said Garnett, who came to Boston in 2007 via trade from Minnesota. "He's always made it apparent, so I've always understood that."

But a trade involving Garnett would have to involve him agreeing to forgo his no-trade clause, something that it appears Garnett isn't necessarily willing to do right now.

"I bleed green; I die green, that's what it is," he said. "But it is a business. If it crosses the path, I'll deal with it. But trades are a part of this league. Every year, you're going to hear things."

But as far as trades involving his name, Garnett said, "If I were y'all, I wouldn't read too much into it."

Most of the trade rumors involving Garnett do fetch the C's talent, but consistently fail to deliver a player that comes close to delivering the kind of impact that Garnett has on this team and on this franchise.

And there's no way to ignore the elephant in the room -- that no-trade clause.

Convincing Garnett to agree to a deal would be a monumental task for any team, regardless of how close they are to being a title contender. Even the Clippers, who are stationed just minutes away from his offseason home in Malibu, Calif. and have reportedly expressed interest in acquiring him, would have their work cut out for them.

For players like Pierce, Garnett and their head coach Doc Rivers, trade rumors are kind of like white noise. It's there, but only if you pay close attention to it, which doesn't seem to be the case for them.

But Rivers does hear enough trade rumors that leave him shaking his head, irked by the knowledge that most have no truth to them.

"When I wake up in the morning and I hear a trade rumor that I haven't heard in my office, that's silly and that's what happens," Rivers said.

Rivers says trade rumors are rarely topics of discussion among him and his players.

"Fortunately for a lot of our guys, our veterans, they've been through the drill so they know," Rivers said. "What's changed in my time as an athlete . . . it used to be factual. Now someone can say something and they can create the news and then they can report on the news that they created. I think that's pretty silly."

That won't stop the Celtics from being a hot topic of discussion on the trade rumor circuit, which is not all that surprising when you consider how they have struggled this season and have two key positions (point guard, big man) that aren't nearly as deep because of injuries.

Even with no Rajon Rondo (torn right ACL) or Jared Sullinger (lumbar disc surgery) for the rest of the season, Rivers remains as confident in this group as he did when they were struggling.

The team's current four game winning streak has done nothing but strengthen his faith in them, a group he hopes will still be as they are now once the Feb. 21 trade deadline passes.

But Rivers knows Ainge well enough to know that regardless of how things are playing out now, any player is subject to being moved if the right deal -- in Ainge's eyes -- comes across his desk.

And the players will surely hear and read and see their names tossed about between now and Feb. 21, with most being able to shrug it off easily.

But Rivers acknowledged that there have been times when he felt the trade talks did have a negative affect on some of his players.

"I thought it affected Ray (Allen) a couple years ago," Rivers said. "Some guys could care less. You just never know."

Although Paul Pierce has spent his entire 14-plus NBA career with the Celtics, he know that at any given moment he too can be shipped off somewhere.

Just recently the Detroit Pistons traded Tayshaun Prince to the Memphis Grizzlies after Prince spent 10-plus seasons in Detroit.

"I never pay too much attention to it," Pierce said of trade talks. "Whatever happens, happens. Just like in the draft, when I got drafted (lower than expected) it played out just the way it was supposed to. Things like that have no affect on how I perform, how I come to practice, how I'm going to approach each and every day."

Fast-break points aren't necessarily a good thing for Celtics

Fast-break points aren't necessarily a good thing for Celtics

BOSTON – Conventional NBA wisdom tells you that getting out to score in transition is a good thing, usually serving as easy points scored, which is what every team wants, right?
 
But bundles of transition points have been nothing but trouble for the Celtics this season.
 
They are coming off a game against the New York Knicks in which they scored 22 fast-break points, which was their second-best showing this season. But the final score, a 117-106 loss, wasn’t all that unusual from what has happened this season when their transition game has generated a decent amount of scoring.
 
Boston has a 2-6 record this season when they score 16 or more fast-break points. On the nights when Boston’s fast-break offense generates 10 or fewer points?
 
They’re 11-5.
 
While there are several possible reasons why this is, here’s what you have to remember.
 
The Celtics are a ball-movement, 3-point shooting team.
 
Often that means they’ll pass up potential shots in transition, to instead work the ball around from one side of the floor to the other, until they get what they deem is the best shot to take (usually it’s a lightly contested to wide open 3-pointer).
 
The Celtics average 329.6 passes per game, which ranks second in the NBA (Philadelphia, 354.8). Not surprisingly, that has led to them ranking among the league’s leaders in assists (24.9, third in the NBA).
 
And that has led to Boston being ranked among the top-3 in several other key passing statistics, such as secondary assists (7.1, 2nd in the NBA); potential assists (49.5, 2nd); and assists points created (60.8, 3rd);
 
Here are a few more stats to crunch on, courtesy of CSN Associate Producer Andy Levine.
 
PAINT BY NUMBERS: When the Celtics score 40 percent or less of their points in the paint, they are 19-5 this season. When Boston gets 40 percent or more of its points in the paint, they are just 7-11.
 
BROWN IN THE FOURTH: Jaylen Brown has been among the better rookies this season, especially in the fourth quarter. Among rookies who played in at least 20 games in the fourth quarter, Brown is second in fourth quarter shooting at 54.9 percent. With those same standards, he’s sixth in shooting 3’s in the fourth at 38.5 percent.
 
CROWDER BOUNCES BACK: The past four games has seemingly brought out the best in Crowder. In that span, he has averaged 18.5 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 57 percent from the field and 48 percent from 3-point range. Crowder’s 3-point shooting of late has elevated him to seventh in the league while connecting on 42.5 percent of his 3-point attempts (minimum 150 attempts).

OUCH! It has not been a smooth start for Evan Turner with his new team, the Portland Trail Blazers. This season, Turner’s plus/minus is -234, which is the fourth-worst plus/minus in the NBA.
 
 

Stevens: Bradley, Zeller, Jerebko out vs. Trail Blazers

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Stevens: Bradley, Zeller, Jerebko out vs. Trail Blazers

BOSTON – Before Brad Stevens addressed the media before the Celtics faced the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday afternoon, he had to take a moment to make sure he wouldn’t forget anyone who wasn’t able to play.
 
Yeah, the list was a pretty long one.
 
Tyler Zeller, Demetrius Jackson and Jonas Jerebko will not play tonight due to sickness. And Avery Bradley (right Achilles strain) will also be out with a timetable that’s starting to feel like it’ll be longer than anyone would want.
 
“I don’t anticipate Avery this week at all,” Stevens said. “He still has some soreness. Obviously we’re concerned about the long-term impact of a sore Achilles; what it means on that foot but also what it means when you compensate off it. But he’ll be back when he’s ready but I think he’s still a little bit away.”
 
Bradley, the team’s top on-the-ball defender and No. 2 scorer this season at 17.7 points per game, will be out for the sixth time in the Celtics’ last seven games because of the Achilles injury.
 
Replacing him in the starting lineup will be Marcus Smart whose status for tonight’s game wasn’t a sure thing.
 
On the Celtics’ pregame notes package, Smart was listed as probable with a sore right ankle injury. I asked Stevens about Smart’s status a few minutes ago, and he said the 6-foot-4 Smart will play tonight.
 
In his 15 starts this season, Smart has averaged 10.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists while shooting 38.4 percent from the field and 31.7 percent on 3's - all of which are better than what he produces when coming off the bench.