12/16/2011 - 14:03
Season Preview: Paul and the Celtics Look to Return to Glory
Ryan Laughlin and the Paul Pierce Team
A lot is being made of Paul Pierce's 14-year tenure with the Boston Celtics.
Because of the recent uproar caused by the trades of some of the league’s best players, Paul’s loyalty is being commended more than ever. As a reward for his commitment, Paul is seeking his second NBA championship, which, given the makeup of the current Celtics roster, is a definite possibility.
“Every year you want to accomplish trying to win a championship,” Pierce said. “That’s just been the goal each and every year. I have no more individual goals like I did when I was a young player. My goals are based on what the team does.”
This year, Paul will try to return to the Finals for the third time in five seasons with a reloaded roster of Boston big men. The acquisitions of forward Brandon Bass and center Chris Wilcox have given Boston a load of depth up front. And with Rajon Rondo entering the prime of his career, the Celtics remain an elite team.
“I like the guys that we have," Paul said. "We’re gonna have a very competitive group. Some of the guys are still right up there with the best in the Eastern Conference, and as time goes along and as we gel, I think we’ll be right there.
"I love the addition of Keyon [Dooling]. I love having Marquis [Daniels] here. And the rest of the guys coming back for a full year, Jeff Green getting a full training camp under his belt. I don’t see us doing nothing but getting better.”
That goes for Paul too, even after posting career bests in field goal percentage and turnovers last season.
The Celtics will have one very noticeable change on their roster this year, however. In order to acquire Brandon Bass, Boston was forced to part with Glen Davis through a sign-and-trade deal. Davis, who spent four years with the Celtics and helped the team win its first championship in 22 years, was a big part of Boston’s success and culture in the locker room.
“You hate to see a guy like Glen go—a guy who played on a championship team, a guy who I had grown so close to,” Paul said. “He had a chance to come out and play with me this summer in L.A.
“But I’ve been around enough, been through a lot of trades and seen a lot of trades, and the guys I have relationships with who have gone. It was hard to see Perk [Kendrick Perkins] go, it was hard to see Tony Allen go, and once again, it will be hard to see Big Baby go. That doesn’t change our relationship off the court.”
That kind of professionalism has played a large role in Boston's success over the past four seasons, and it's sure to keep them together during what is sure to be a wild 66-game season.
It will all start at Madison Square Garden on Christmas Day against the Knicks, but while you’re waiting, stop by Paul’s website, Truth On Health, and get some great workout and diet tips from Paul for yourself this basketball season. You don’t want to miss out.
See you on opening day! Enjoy the holiday season, Paul Pierce fans!