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Paul Pierce attempts to clarify ‘it’ dig about Toronto Raptors

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Washington Wizards veteran Paul Pierce attempted on Thursday to clarify some comments he made earlier this week about the Toronto Raptors that generally were perceived as a subtle dig at his team’s upcoming playoff opponent.

“We haven’t done particularly well against Toronto, but I don’t feel they have the ‘It’ that makes you worried,” Pierce told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan during an interview in which Pierce let loose on myriad issues, including blasting former teammates.

While it was not yet known that the Raptors would be the Wizards’ postseason foe when Pierce made the original comments, his thoughts spawned mostly bemused reactions from Toronto players, as most of them took it all in stride and blew off the perceived potshot, assuming it was simply a case of Pierce being Pierce.

Pierce nevertheless felt the need to clarify his remarks, which he did on Thursday.

“I really was talking about a number of teams. It wasn’t everything was focused on Toronto,” Pierce said, via The Washington Post.  “I think I was voicing my opinion on a number of teams that over the years, when you see those contenders and are just like, ‘Man, they’re going to be really hard to beat. They got a chance to win a championship.’ That’s what I was really focusing on. Not to take anything away from Toronto. They’re a great team in their own right.”

Pierce is correct in his assertion that the Raptors weren’t the only target, as immediately after he made the “it” comment about Toronto, he suggested there is no team in the Eastern Conference that frighten the Wizards.

“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,'” he said.

Pierce has no qualms with telling it like it is, or better put, how he sees it. His frequently candid and oft-unabashed comments concerning other players in the league, other teams and pretty much everything else often puts Pierce squarely in the spotlight, and place he clearly has no problems whatsoever being in.

Either way, Pierce’s comments do provide an interesting backdrop into what should be a compelling first round series.