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Doc Rivers hints Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett being misused

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Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Doc Rivers spoke to Howard Beck this week and seemed to criticize the way his two former stars, now mired in the worse seasons of their long careers, are being used.

"He can score anywhere," Rivers said of Paul Pierce. "I think he was more uncomfortable with the short minutes that they were (playing him), like they did with Kevin. And that’s not Paul. Paul doesn’t work under those type of minutes—at least, in my opinion he doesn’t. He’s a guy that needs a rhythm to play. In Kevin’s case, on a 20-minute restriction, of course his numbers are going to be down. So I think at some point, he probably is going to have to play more minutes to improve, so he can get a better rhythm himself."

Rivers, whose Clippers play the Nets and Celtics back-to-back, also thinks that Pierce, who is on an expiring contract, could play "another three years," which would take him to 39 years old  There's been speculation that the Nets, who control his Bird Rights, could extend Pierce --at a lower salary-- in July.

The former Celtic coach says he regularly talks to both players and has offered them advice about not getting down on their current situation.

"One of the things I was telling one of those guys—which, I won’t say—is, 'So what’s the big deal? You’re not playing well right now. You don’t get a trophy right now. You don’t get to play for the trophy right now. Just keep going.' " said Rivers who said that his 2010 team "struggled down the stretch" but made it to the NBA Finals. Of course, the 2009-10 Celtics started 16-4.