If you ask 100% of Celtics fans, the answer is yes. But Ainge doesn’t agree. And yes, the Kendrick Perkins trade may not be the sole reason that the Celtics were bounced from the playoffs by the Heat. But if Ainge was honest with himself, he would realize that it was a huge reason.
The problem is that Ainge refuses to be honest with himself.
“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?”
They would, and presently say that they would much rather have Kendrick Perkins on their team. But you really don’t get that do you, Danny?
“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.”
I knew you didn’t.