Paul Pierce may be on a different team this season, but he must go through the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the Playoffs once again, and he doesn’t sound particularly worried:
“We haven’t done particularly well against Toronto, but I don’t feel they have the ‘it’ that makes you worried,” Pierce told ESPN earlier this week. “There isn’t a team I look at in the Eastern Conference that makes me say, ‘They are intimidating, we don’t have a chance.'”
Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan took exception to Pierce’s arrogance.
DeRozan thinks Pierce and the Wizards may live to regret their bravado—Toronto won all three regular season matchups against Washington.
Per the Toronto Sun and National Post:
After Toronto beat Charlotte, but before Chicago rallied to defeat Atlanta, guaranteeing a Raptors-Wizards matchup, DeRozan said Pierce should be careful what he wishes for. […] “I don’t know, Paul Pierce has always gotta say something,” DeRozan said in a happy Raptors locker room. “Just let him talk. I could care less what he says. He’d just better hope Chicago wins (against Atlanta) or whatever has got to happen so he won’t see what ‘it’ is.”
But it was clear that DeRozan actually cared quite a bit. As he prepared to leave the locker room, he was shown by a member of the media an update score, showing Atlanta in front of Chicago a bit, meaning a matchup with Milwaukee seemed on tap, instead of a date with Pierce and the Wizards. […] DeRozan looked visibly irritated by that development and muttered: “Sh–, I hope I see Paul Pierce,” as he exited.
“Whatever he means about what ‘it’ is, you’ll have to ask him when you see him or text him or Instagram,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said with a laugh.