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Pierce: Defense to blame

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  January 18, 2010 11:42 PM

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Celtics captain Paul Pierce says defense is to blame for the Celtics' loss to the Mavericks Monday night at TD Garden.

“We gotta understand we are a defensive team first, regardless of who we put out on the floor, at the end of the night, regardless of if we shoot the ball well or not, we are a defensive team, and that’s what we have to continue to understand with the guys that are out," said Pierce. "That’s something that is never going to change about this team. Right now we are playing in spurts defensively, it’s going to be tough if we don’t start to develop some consistency on that end of the court.”

Pierce refused to use the absence of Kevin Garnett, who could return Friday night against Portland, as a crutch.

“Every game you play with Kevin is going to help, but that isn’t an excuse," he said. "We got guys that are more than capable. Rasheed [Wallace] is a very capable defender, but it isn’t about the individual, it's about the team, it's about a team defense, something we thrive on and hang our hat on. It's just not a consistent night for a team to come in your building shoot 50 or 60 percent. I look up and we shoot 50 percent, most nights we win those games. But when you allow a team to shoot that kind of percentage it is going to be tough for any team to win ballgames.”

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