Ainge: Perkins trade wasn't why we lost

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Ainge: Perkins trade wasn't why we lost

Don't tell Danny Ainge the Celtics are out of the NBA playoffs because they traded Kendrick Perkins.

"I don't think that the presence of one player standing in the middle of the paint was going to help our offense score more, wasn't going to prevent LeBron James from shooting step-back 3-point jump shots with Paul Pierce and Jeff Green draped all over him," Ainge told Comcast SportsNet's Greg Dickerson in a one-on-one interview.

"I mean, we scored zero points with four or five minutes to go in two games. That was not because of who we had playing center. That had a lot more to do with our best players not being able to score."

And please don't tell him the Celtics lost their toughness when they lost Perkins.

"Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. We lose our toughness because we trade one player?" he said. "What do you think Kevin Garnett feels about that? What do you think Paul Pierce and Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo feel about that? Like, we only have one guy that's a tough player, that brings an element of toughness?"

In other words, the team's president of basketball operations -- unlike many in Celtics Nation -- isn't blaming the Celts' second-half slide, and their second-round ouster, on the controversial trade of Perkins to the still-alive Oklahoma City Thunder.

"Without Perk, we were counting on . . . not all of our centers, but Nenad Krstic, who was playing well; Glen "Big Baby" Davis, who was playing well; Jermaine O'Neal and Shaq Shaquille O'Neal, who were hurt that we thought would come back," said Ainge.

"Jermaine came back and did his part, played great defense for us, held down the fort, but was clearly playing with injuries; he hurt his wrist in the first game of the playoffs, wasn't quite the same. Shaq really never returned. Baby, all of a sudden, just wasn't playing well. And . . . Krstic had the two bone bruises.

"So the trade didn't work. That's just part of the game and part of life, a frustrating part."

But he still thinks the reasoning behind the move was sound.

"If I had to do the trade today, I would have done it."

Dickerson's 30-minute interview with Ainge will air Monday night on Comcast SportsNet at 7 p.m.

Leon Powe talks about '08 Celtics, reunion with Ray Allen

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Leon Powe talks about '08 Celtics, reunion with Ray Allen

In this week's jam packed episode of CSNNE.com's "Celtics Talk Podcast", Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely talk with former Celtic Leon Powe about this year's team, plus his role on the 2008 Championship squad. Powe tells some great stories about Kevin Garnett, and has an interesting take on Ray Allen not being invited to the reunion vacation Rajon Rondo is planning.

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Also included in this week's episode, Brian Scalabrine's interview with head coach Brad Stevens, plus the "Celtics PostUp" crew talks with Jae Crowder about his many nicknames, whether the 1st seed in the East is important, and his improvement on the floor.

LaVar Ball: Don't know Ainge, but he was tough 'for a white guy'

LaVar Ball: Don't know Ainge, but he was tough 'for a white guy'

LaVar Ball said a bunch of crazy things Thursday during his appearance on WEEI’s Dale & Holley with Rich Keefe. Among them: He thinks that every white teenager gets a $100,000 car from their parents. 

The most notable for Celtics fans’ purposes as it relates to the chances of Lonzo Ball coming to Boston was that the father does not want the C’s to take the UCLA product with the potential first overall pick of the 2017 draft. He also vowed not to be a pain in Brad Stevens’ ass if the C’s do take the point guard. 

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Ball was also asked about Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. He said that he doesn’t know Ainge and has never spoken to him, but he did have an interesting description of the scrappy Ainge’s playing days.  

“I don’t know anything about Danny Ainge, but I know when he was a player, he was one of them sticklers to get up under you, boy,” Ball said. “But I haven’t talked to him. I don’t know Danny Ainge, I just watched him play when he was younger and I knew for a white guy, you could elbow him in the face. He was going to get back up and keep playing.” 

Ball did not say whether he thinks his son would have a better playing career than Ainge, a one-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion, but that should be assumed.