Smith's call to play against Celtics

707242.jpg

Smith's call to play against Celtics

Apparently the decision as to whether Atlanta's Josh Smith (left knee) will play in Friday's Game 3 matchup against the Boston Celtics is one man's decision -- Josh Smith.
Hawks coach Larry Drew told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the decision on whether Smith will play is his alone.
Its strictly going to go on his call," Drew said. "I know Josh, hes a warrior. If he feels like he can play, he wants to be out there. If he cant go we dont want him out there limping around and injuring the knee.
When told that the decision to play was his to make, Smith smiled.
"Oh, they are going to put the pressure on me like that? It's OK. If it feels good, I'm going to go. I'm not one to harness injuries. I have a high threshold for pain. If I feel like I can go a little bit I'm going to step out on floor."
While this series is filled with a number of future Hall of Famers and all-stars, Smith has distinguished himself as arguably the best player in the series.
In the two games, he has averaged 19 points and 15 rebounds in addition to 4.5 assists and 1.5 blocked shots per game.
Even before the series began, a number of Boston players -- among them, Paul Pierce -- spoke glowingly about Smith's play.
"He is a lot of work," Pierce said. "He's an all-star in my mind. He's playing as good as anybody in the NBA at this point."
"Those guys are Hall of Fame players," Smith said in a recent interview with CSNNE.com. "To hear that come out of their mouths, it really gives me motivation and drive to become an all-star one day."
But first things first.
He has to get back on the floor in this series, something that may happen as early as Friday.
And with injuries that will keep Al Horford (pectoral surgery) and Zaza Pachulia (foot), the Hawks need as many abled-bodies in the frontcourt as possible.
Still, you won't find Smith rushing to get back on the floor if he's not healthy enough to play meaningful minutes.
"I don't want to put that much pressure on me," Smith told the AJC. "I understand how important this series is, but it's more than one game. I don't want to go out there too early and risk getting injured more."

Maxwell to Felger: ‘Stop dreaming’ about Celtics moves

celticsss05011462164012465_3450k_1280x720_677567043543.jpg

Maxwell to Felger: ‘Stop dreaming’ about Celtics moves

Mike Felger and Cedric Maxwell discuss different options the Celtics can look at in the offseason, includes trading for Jimmy Butler and signing Kevin Durant.

Report: Paul Pierce '50-50' about retirement after Clippers' exit

clippers_pierce_021016.jpg

Report: Paul Pierce '50-50' about retirement after Clippers' exit

After the Clippers were elminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, a disappointed Paul Pierce told ESPN that he was "50-50" about retirement. 

In a video after Portland's Game 6 victory posted on oregonlive.com, the former Celtics captain said his "heart is broken" by another playoff elimination. 

Pierce signed a a three-year, $10 million contract to return home (he grew up in Inglewood, Calif.) and play for his old coach Doc Rivers in Los Angeles.  He'll be 39 next season and coming off the worst season of his career. Pierce averaged 6.1 points, 36 percent shooting and 18 minutes a game, all career lows.