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Larry Bird: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce have "plenty left"

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Mike Ehrmann

Larry Bird, back to being president of the Pacers, talked Monday about how Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will do next season with the Nets. Bottom line: they have "plenty left" but the Nets will have to manage their minutes well.

"It’s hard for me to tell because they both played more minutes than I’ve ever played," the Celtic great told writers in Orlando "But they’ve both been pretty healthy throughout their years. But yeah, I think they’ll have plenty left with the way they’ve been coached and the bench that they have. Yeah, they’ll pick their spots, but when the time comes they’ll be there."

Age and health are two of the biggest concerns for the new Nets following the eight-player trade. Pierce is 35 and will be 36 on opening night while Garnett is already 37. Still, the two players averaged 33 points and 15 rebounds a game last year for the Celtics.

Bird, whose Pacers got to the Eastern Conference Finals, thinks competition in the East is likely to greater next season.

"We know Chicago is going to be better," he said. "Obviously Brooklyn should be a lot better. Brooklyn beat us every time last year (Nets swept the Pacers). So they’re only going to get stronger."

Bird, who went from playing to coaching (although not directly) spoke as well as about what Jason Kidd should expect in his transition.