Paul Pierce ended up with the much smaller Dennis Schröder guarding him with Game 3 of the Wizards-Hawks semifinal Playoff series on the line Saturday … and, well, the rest is history (and hilarious trash talk.)

DeMarre Carroll, Atlanta’s best wing defender, elected not to be on the floor during the fateful moment, explaining that he was not “comfortable as far as physically.”

Carroll and Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer were given a chance to expand on the curious decision Sunday.

Per the AJC:

Q: What happened last night and are you good to go tomorrow? Carroll: “I’m good. That was a tough game for us but by the same token to clarify what went on last night was me and coach discussed the situation, we discussed that was the best group at the time because they had come all the way back. Due to that, I hadn’t played for a quarter and a half and we felt that was the best group to give us a shot to get that stop.”

 

Q: Were you physically uncomfortable? What was it? Carroll: “Like I said, I talked to coach. We discussed it. That was the best group at the time due to I hadn’t played for a quarter and a half. That’s what we felt.”

 

Q: DeMarre, in the end-of-game situation, said he was physically unable to go. He said moments ago you two talked about it. What happened last night? Budenholzer: “It’s like all throughout the game there is dialog. The group that was on the court we felt gave us our best chance to get a stop. You consider everything in listening and talking that’s the group we went with. […] Considering he hadn’t played the whole fourth quarter, I think he went in for a possession and, again, there is a time out, you talk, you discuss and you have to make decisions. I think sometimes we take players out of the game who don’t want to come out and sometimes we probably put players in that don’t want to go it. Coaches have to make decisions. It happens every night, every time.”