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News » Team OK, but Pierce has better idea

Team OK, but Pierce has better idea

Team OK, but Pierce has better idea

WALTHAM - According to their record, the Celtics are as good as they were last year at this point.

According to Paul Pierce, that's not necessarily good enough.

The league is better this year, which, by his estimation, means they have to be better as well.

"Last year was last year," said Pierce. "It's better teams in the East this year. It's better teams in the West. We're taking it one game at a time. We're not looking back at what we did last year because it's a different team."

Despite a tough stretch of scheduling and an offense that lagged behind their smothering defense, the Celtics have a 13-2 record that is the best in the Eastern Conference.

The offense is averaging 101.6 points since beating Atlanta, 103-102, Nov. 12, and Kendrick Perkins said it's starting to get where it needs to be.

"Our defense's been there," he said. "But it seems like offensively we're starting to really get it down pat. We're moving the ball, guys are taking their shots, guys are finishing around the basket. It just feels good right now."

Even if they're on par at the moment, the ultimate goal is to be better than they were a year ago.

"We have to be, eventually," said coach Doc Rivers. "I don't know if we are now. We're not worried about now. But for us to win it all, we have to be better than we were last year, because everybody else is better."

Heinsohn's wife dies

Before practice broke at HealthPoint, Rivers gathered his players at midcourt and said a word of respect for Helen J. (Weiss) Heinsohn, wife of Celtics Hall of Famer Tommy Heinsohn, who died yesterday in Newton after a battle with cancer that spanned six years.

Rivers called her a teammate and said one of last season's inspiring sights was seeing her at games while she was fighting through chemotherapy.

"She's just a courageous lady and will be sincerely missed," Rivers said.

The fire drill

The firings of NBA coaches P.J. Carlesimo (Thunder) and Eddie Jordan (Wizards) not even a quarter of the way through the season struck a familiar chord with Rivers, who was cut loose by the Orlando Magic after a 1-10 start in 2003.

"I'm amazed," he said. "I got fired after 10 games, too. It's the same start, and I had ton of injuries, and it's amazing."

Carlesimo had the Thunder (average age: 25) off to a 1-13 start, while the injury-plagued Wizards, who had made the playoffs four straight years under Jordan, were 1-10.

"One team's extremely young, and they want him to play the young guys, but it's his fault somehow," Rivers said.

"And Eddie's been a terrific coach. No way the Wizards should have made it to the playoffs last year.

"And Eddie got that team to the playoffs and they just forgot about it."

Charity stripes

The Celtics Women's Group will partner with Cradles to Crayons, a local nonprofit group, for a holiday coat drive during tonight's game against Golden State. Fans can bring new or gently used children's winter coats to the Garden for donation. Dropoff stations will be set up outside the turnstiles on Level 2. Coats can also be dropped off during regular business hours at the Celtics sales office at 226 Causeway Street ... Ray Allen restarted a tradition that began during his days in Seattle, providing full Thanksgiving dinners to 275 families in Roxbury, complete with turkey, stuffing, dinner rolls, salad, green beans, dessert, and the not-so-traditional vitamin water. He was among several Celtics in the giving spirit. Sam Cassell and Perkins served a Thanksgiving meal in Dorchester with the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. And Patrick O'Bryant brought dinner and prepared dessert for teens at the Home For Little Wanderers.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 26, 2008


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