Pierce on Delonte: 'I'm happy for him'

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Pierce on Delonte: 'I'm happy for him'

WALTHAM When training camp began, Paul Pierce fully expected there to be a lot of new faces on the Boston Celtics roster. It's like that every year, with every team throughout the league.

But to not see Delonte West, who took his talents out West to Dallas, well Pierce acknowledges was a bit of a surprise.

"I thought he'd definitely be back," Pierce said. "It's hard to develop chemistry when you bring in a lot of new faces, each and every year."

West has been with the Green team during two different stints, quickly winning over fans and his teammates with his gritty play at both ends of the floor.

During the C's playoff run which ended with a second-round loss to the Miami Heat, West's play was one of the highlights.

It is unclear exactly why the Celtics didn't make a big push to bring him back, but certainly the growth and development of Avery Bradley was a factor. It would have been difficult for the C's to bring West back, and still managed to find minutes for Bradley, too.

Since joining the Mavs, West now finds himself in a role that's actually greater than the one he had with the Celtics. West has appeared in all nine games for the Mavericks, which includes eight starts. He's averaging eight points and 3.1 assists while playing just under 21 minutes a game.

"He's really added something to the Dallas team that they probably lost in J.J. Barea (now in Minnesota) and Tyson Chandler (now in New York), a guy who could come in and give them energy defensively, and give them a boost offensively also."

Pierce added, "I'm happy for him; he's found some comfort there in Dallas. He's in the starting lineup now. I wish him the best."

West recently made headlines when the NBA champion Mavericks met President Barack Obama at the White House, and West couldn't be with the team because of gun-related charges he had to deal with a couple years ago.

The 6-foot-3 guard took to Twitter to express his disappointment in not being able to attend, in addition to ranting about the media.

Brady allows himself to enjoy win: '[Bleep], you've got to be happy now'

Brady allows himself to enjoy win: '[Bleep], you've got to be happy now'

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady can be his own worst critic. That's why last week, after beating the Texans in the Divisional Round to move on to the AFC title game, he wasn't thrilled. He didn't play up to his standards. The offense struggled at points. He wore his frustration like a five o'clock shadow.

Winning is not everything for Brady, most weeks. He has an idea of how he should perform, how the Patriots offense should perform, and when those ideals aren't met, he's generally displeased. 

PATRIOTS 36, STEELERS 17

On Sunday, after beating up on the Steelers, 36-17, that wasn't the case. It was a sound performance, but it wasn't perfect. It was explosive at times, but it shined a light on areas where the Patriots will need to continue to improve. 

Despite its imperfections, Sunday was no time to brood about plays missed or lessons learned the hard way. Screw it, Brady seemed to say. They were going to the Super Bowl. It was OK to smile.  

"It was a good day," Brady said. "I mean, we're going to the Super Bowl, man. [Expletive], you've got to be happy now."

The Super Bowl berth is the ninth in franchise history -- more than any other club -- and the seventh with Brady and coach Bill Belichick. By throwing for 384 yards and three touchdowns on 32-of-42 passing, Brady tied Joe Montana for the most postseason games (nine) with three touchdown passes. 

Brady will also claim the record for Super Bowls played when he and the Patriots head to Houston. And if they win, he'll tie Charles Haley for most Super Bowl wins for a player (five).

Those are lofty numbers made even more significant, perhaps, due to the fact that Brady wasn't allowed to start this season as his team's quarterback. He was asked during Sunday's postgame press conference if it was personally satisfying to get back to the Super Bowl despite having to serve a four-game suspension due to Deflategate.

"Well, that's because of the hard work of a lot of people from my coaches to my teammates to our families that support us," he said. "It takes a lot of people, a lot of hard work and a lot of effort over the course of many months. This didn't start at 6:40 tonight.

"This thing started in April. It really started before that in free-agency when we were picking up guys like [Chris] Hogan and drafting guys like Malcolm Mitchell and guy who were in rehab like [LeGarrette Blount] and [Dion Lewis] and [James Develin] and Nate [Solder]. It's a lot of hard work. There are only two teams left standing, and I'm happy we're one of them."

They're going to the Super Bowl. He has to be happy now.