Everyone has been wondering what Tommy's take was on the trade. Before the trade, he was solidly against trading Big Al and we all wondered how he felt afterwards. Tonight on FSN Sports Tonight, Tommy finally spoke about his thoughts on the trade. Here is a transcript of what he had to say.
Tommy: Enthusiasm that's generated in the city of Boston is just amazing now. There's a tremendous amount of Celtics fans just dying to see them play the same type of ball as years ago. This type of thing happened when Bird first showed up. We won a couple of championships when I was coach and there was a down turn for a couple of years. And all of a sudden people said to themselves "Hey we had a good thing going there." And when Bird showed up just the anticipation of them really being an upper echelon team and turned out in droves. And I think the same thing is happening here. They've turned on the Celtic fandom that's been laying in the weeds.
Dickers: What do you like most about KG? Tommy: He's a dedicated player and what he does... I think he's got the numbers. He'll get on the boards. He's got sort of a low post game. he'll block shots and he's got a temperment to blend in with other people and he is a player you can expect to handle pressure the farther along you go.
Tanguay: How do you coach Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett with the same offense? Tommy: Not that big a deal. If you run, that solves all the problems and when you get down into key situations in the game, that's when you run plays for guys. Whichever player has got the best situation - the best matchup, that's who you go to. But if you run, which you heard me talk about innumerable times, that's one of the benefits - that if you execute and get up the floor, if they really work hard at getting up the floor, they'll get easier baskets than they got in the half court offense and you won't have to feed them the ball.
Tanguay: Lets go on the other side of the coaching. How do you defend these 3 guys? Tommy: They have inside outside. You have one guy that can knock down threes. They have another guy who can drive and slash and they have another guy that's an inside player and if he goes you've got two other guys he can kick it out.
Tanguay: You can't double off anyone on this team. Tommy: Yeah, you could. Not off those other 2 guys. But I'm sure until Rondo proves one thing, they will be doubling off him. But Rondo's gonna be a key guy. You hear me talking about running basketball. Rondo's gonna make sure that these guys run. I watched him in summer league and he pushed the ball and got it to the right people. He kept them running and he made them run. He didn't stop and he didn't walk it up the floor. He pushed the pace of the game and that's something the Celtics haven't had for a long, long time.
Tanguay: What does Rondo have to do to get the respect of these veterans? Tommy: Just get them layups, that's all, which he'll do. I tell you Paul Pierce sat on the bench last year after he got hurt. Paul Pierce was playing half court basketball as Rond was playing up tempo in the beginning of the season and they kind of looked at Rondo and they said I'm not getting the ball... I'm not getting the ball. And all of a sudden Paul Pierce when he got hurt aaid, "Hey, if I just get my tail up the floor I'll get easier baskets than I did when we were running these half court offenses because I'll only have to go against one guy instead of 3 guys.
Dickerson: We'll all miss Al Jefferson. Thankfully we'll just have to watch him against the Celtics twice because he is in the Western conference. How much did you fall in love with Al last season? Tommy: You know, what he does is such a rarity. He is a low post player that I think is destined for stardom. Last year he proved to me, if not to other people, that he was one of the top 5 low post players in the game. And he's just a kid. He's just learning. I think he was further ahead than Garnett was at the same stage. Why I liked Al so much is because he gave you the low post game. He didn't just talk about it. He was taking it to the guy from the Spurs, everybody, and he was scoring against everybody. He was a bonifide force which would have also helped Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.
Tanguay: Is Paul Pierce still the leader? Does there have to be a leader with this type of team? Tommy: The leader is the coach. Ok. On the floor, if you get it worked out properly and you do what I just said about running and everybody hustles and gets easy baskets. There is apoint in the ball game when you go to certain guys: after time outs, after free throws, when you want to change the complexion of the game. Instead of walking it up the floor the entire game, that's when you use a set play and you use it against the best matchup. You ask the guys, and I hope they start asking the guys, who thinks they can get the shot off. Ant then that's when these guys can really start to contribute. I don't think any of them wants to take all the shots. I think they will all defer to the best situation.
Dickerson: Doc Rivers can coach. He's a very good coach. But it hasn't shown up on the court because you have 21-22 year olds who don't always execute his game plan. It's different now. Tommy: Yeah it is. I think all the people who were rapping Doc last year, you gotta look and see what he did in developing all these young players to the point that we were able to enhance the value of the entire team.
Dickerson: And that team never quit on him once the entire season, even during that 18 game losing streak. Tommy: Absolutely. They just didn't have enough experience. I mean we got 5 guys. I mean we had Allan Ray having to score 20 points. He was the 15th guy on the roster at one point and he had to be the go to guy. Come on. I mean and they were still in the games. I think he did a great job. He created the value that made these guys tradable so they could end up with the 2 guys they did.
Tommy sounded pretty positive about the team and he is very high on Rondo. I agree that we need to run this season but I don't have much faith in Doc being able to institute a running game. It was good to hear Tommy talking and being positive about this coming season. I just know he is going to have a lot of fun calling the games. Winning is always fun!!