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Pierce cheering former teammates on from afar

They may not be on the same team anymore, but that isn't stopping Paul Pierce from rooting for them.

Before Tony Allen and Kendrick Perkins played in their first postseason games ever not wearing the Green and White, Pierce sent them each a text of encouragement.

"I just wished them luck, you know, lead their teams," Pierce said. "They have valued experience that they can bring to their team. So I just told them that and wished them luck."

Tony Allen has garnered national attention, whether it be from the Wall Street Journal (yes they have a sports section) or Adrian Wojnarowski's nice piece on him.

Tony Allen has flourished in Memphis, and transformed the franchise into a contender. What's even more impressive is that the Grizzlies are playing their best basketball without Rudy Gay and because of Tony Allen.

Is that a little surprising?

"Definitely," Pierce said. "I am a little surprised because I looked at the team and if Gay doesn't get hurt, who knows how the season ends up for Tony because they had established guys there already. But as far as his play, I knew what he was capable of with his play but it's just about him getting opportunities. Once he got the opportunity, he's showing everybody."

Tony Allen hit two key free throws late in Game 1 of the Grizzlies upset over the Spurs. There's no chance he's in the game at that stage on the Celtics, playing ahead of Paul Pierce or Ray Allen. So in that respect, if that's what T.A. wanted, he got it.

But Pierce thinks he still could have had a chance to contribute to the Celtics this season like he did in Memphis.

"I thought he could have blossomed here," Pierce said. "I talked to him even before he signed with Memphis or probably the day or a few hours before he was going to sign because it shocked me. And I felt some of the things he's doing there he could have been doing there. You know, it would have given Ray an opportunity to rest more during the regular season along with myself."

When Allen left and went to Memphis it was definitely a surprise. Rivers has said it too, he just assumed Allen was coming back. There's no doubt that Allen could have been used this year. You can almost bet that if Allen resigns, we're looking at Kendrick Perkins at center going into Game 2 tomorrow. It's a "he said, he said" game as to why Allen really chose Memphis over Boston, and it will probably remain that way.

"Tony is a different dude," Pierce said. "He'll say one thing to one paper and another thing to another paper, and then another thing then he got four different reasons on why he left. And I just read that they got rid of him. And I'm like how did they get rid of you when you signed and they didn't trade you. So it's like, that's just Tony Allen for you."

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