Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Monday he regrets trading away center Kendrick Perkins during the season.
"I would wait until after the year was over. I'll put it that way," Rivers told Boston sports radio WEEI (850 AM).
On Feb. 24, the Celtics traded Perkins and guard Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for forward Jeff Green, center Nenad Krstic and a protected future first-round draft pick.
"I do think Jeff Green has a chance to be a starter for us in the future and a hell of a basketball player, and Krstic can help, but making that trade at the time we made that trade, that made it very tough for us," Rivers said.
Boston finished as the No. 3 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference and was eliminated in the second round 4-1 by the Miami Heat. Perkins' departure affected the club's offense more than Rivers and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge anticipated.
"Well, it was more not that the trust went away, the know-how went away, the continuity went away," Rivers said. "That's what the trade affected more than anything. Obviously, (Perkins) was great to our team and all of that, but it was more that you had new guys playing different positions and you had a floor guy who could literally reach back into a playbook and throw out something that was three or four years old and they all knew it, when Perk was there.
"When you lose Perk, you take that one guy out of that starting lineup. Now there's the fifth guy who doesn't know your offense three years ago. He only knows what he knows since he's been there, and that limited our group."
TWO YEARS LATER
The Thunder is in the Western Conference Finals just two years after finishing with a 23-59 record after starting out 3-29 in Oklahoma City.
Since the NBA went to a conference format in 1970-71, only one other team has reached the conference finals within two years after winning 23 or fewer games. That was San Antonio, which went 20-62 in 1996-97 and won the NBA title in the strike-shortened season of 1998-99.
4-0 VS. 4-3
Dallas is coming off a 4-0 series against the two-time defending world champion Los Angeles Lakers, while OKC is coming off a 4-3 victory over Memphis in a Western Conference semifinal.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, a team coming off a four-game sweep has played a team coming off a seven-game series 12 times in NBA history, and has won nine times.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle were roommates with the Albany Patroons of the CBA in the late 1980s. … With its Game 7 victory over Memphis, the Thunder improved to 8-10 in Sunday games, 25-6 in games after a loss and 14-1 in bounce-back games at home. … OKC-Memphis so far is the only playoff series to go seven games this season.