Doc Rivers Defends Resting Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, Believes Celtics Will be Great in the Playoffs

March 5, 2013 – 8:30 am by Steven Cuce

The NBA trade deadline passed last week and in Boston the core group was still intact. Kevin Garnett was never going to Los Angeles. Doc Rivers was never in doubt.

Boston isn’t going away anytime soon despite their team age. The Celtics are 31-27, currently seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Rivers believes his team will be rested and poised for a big postseason run.

Doc Rivers joined WEEI in Boston with Dennis and Callahan to discuss the Boston Celtics’ biggest win of the season coming against the Utah Jazz last week, the Celtics staying quiet during the trade deadline, Boston being great in the playoffs, the Kevin Garnett trade to the Los Angeles Clippers being a false rumor and giving Garnett a game off.

Did you think the win over the Utah Jazz was the biggest one of the season because it was the last night of a long road trip and also in overtime?

“Yeah that’s what I meant by our biggest game as far as that. For our team, the mental toughness they had to show, I mean let’s just be honest, when that schedule came out and you saw that fifth game in seven nights with a time zone change, you didn’t like the way it looked.”

As the trade deadline got closer did you think there would be a trade or did you believe that you would be keeping the gang?

“I felt the latter. Danny Ainge is working and he is going to do the best to make the team better for now and the future. I just didn’t feel like, from what I heard, that anything was going to happen.”

How do you feel about this team moving forward? We feel like the team is going to run out of gas. Are we wrong?

“I disagree with that. I think they’ll be great when the playoffs start. I think they will be better because there is more rest and our key is to get them there fresh. But listen, that may have had something to do with not making a trade or doing a trade. I just don’t think there was anything out there that appealed to him.”

So why didn’t the Kevin Garnett trade to the Los Angeles Clippers work?

“I told you guys, or I said it to the media three weeks ago, just because ESPN says there is talk does not mean there is talk of significance. Danny Ainge talks to everybody, I’m sure, and everybody calls him. But very few big discussions are made, at least this year, and that being the case with the Clippers.”

Is there push back from Kevin Garnett when you are telling him he has to sit out?

“It depends. This one it was not. That’s how I knew it was the right thing. It was nothing. You could tell he really needed it and appreciated it.”

Listen to Doc Rivers on WEEI in Boston here

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