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Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo not making excuses

There are a lot of reasons (read: excuses) you can give for the Celtics poor first game defensive effort. New teammates, new season, long layoff, etc. But hommie don't play 'dat. And by hommie I mean Paul Pierce.

Celtics make no excuses for poor defense - Framingham, MA - The MetroWest Daily News

But Pierce was having none of it. The Celtics were flat out bad defensively in allowing 54 percent shooting and 120 points in a 13-point loss, and Pierce wasn’t going to sugarcoat that. "As individuals, we’ve got to take the blame because we were out there," Pierce said. "There’s no way we should give up (120) points no matter what type of defensive scheme we run. We might as well sit on the sideline and watch them run up and down the court if we’re going to give up 120 points."

Rondo was happy to point the blame back at himself and the core players as well.

"It wasn't just those guys," Rondo said. "It was myself, Kevin, who were thinking a lot. There was a stretch of the third quarter when I was thinking too much. It's not just the new guys, it's the core as well."

That's leadership and accountability. A good first step.