Found January 24, 2013 on
Boston Sports Then & Now:
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Doc Rivers has been unable to find the right ingredients for the 2012-’13 Boston Celtics.
Should Danny Ainge dismantle the Boston Celtics roster?
The Celtics are still searching for their identity halfway through the season. They are the losers of four straight games with three (New Orleans Hornets, Detroit Pistons, and Cleveland Cavaliers) of those defeats against teams who are below .500. Now the Celtics are in the eighth spot of the Eastern Conference at 20-21.
In the 103-88 loss to the Pistons on Sunday, Doc Rivers criticized the team in his postgame press conference and said the team will have to make changes if the Celtics continue to play inconsistent basketball. Everybody thought the Celtics would be better and take off when Avery Bradley returned. Bradley did provide a jolt in the backcourt on defense, but he suffered a rib injury against the Hornets. He missed the overtime defeat to the Chicago Bulls on January 18th. Then he came back to start the game in Detroit, but he is clearly playing in pain and he is not the same player he was when he initially returned.
There are more glaring problems such as the lack of stable production from role players such as Jason Terry, Jeff Green, and Courtney Lee. Brandon Bass was scoreless against the Pistons and appeared to lose confidence in his mid-range jumper. The role players are relying too much on Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo to the point that Rivers may need to perform his best Rick Pitino impression. Garnett and Pierce are not the Hall-of-Fame caliber players they were earlier in their careers. Rivers and the coaching staff have been attempting to get more from their younger veterans to preserve Pierce’s and Garnett’s legs for the length of the season.
The only player who has been performing above their expectations is Jared Sullinger. Sullinger spends limited minutes on the court because he is constantly in foul trouble. He has given the Celtics energy with his ability to rebound and score in the paint.
The Celtics failed to execute offensively in the excruciatingly poor 95-90 loss to the Cavaliers on Tuesday. There were possessions when Pierce and Garnett were just passing to each other with nobody moving on the other side. The spacing was horrendous. One time both Rondo and Bradley cut to the basket that led to a turnover. On defense, the Celtics let Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (40 points) have his way with them. Irving hurt the Celtics with the pick-and-roll. He was either making open jumpers or dashing to the basket with no resistance.
There was one play late in the fourth quarter that explained the Celtics recent skid. The Celtics were trailing 84-83 with a shade over two minutes left in the game. After a Garnett missed shot, the battle for the rebound spilled to the other end of the court when Rondo attempted to save the ball from going out of bounds. Rondo tried to throw the ball off Irving, but the ball just went right into Irving’s hands and he went in for an uncontested layup. Rivers was furious after the game that none of his players moved down the other end of the court to help Rondo.
These are all mistakes that should not be happening with a group that looked to contend for an NBA title. Now, the Celtics should focus on the fundamentals and not continuing to make mental mistakes. They have too many players who have contributed to successful teams, but it seems like these players are afraid to step up and take control of games for the 2012-2013 Celtics.
Fans will throw out who could be traded and the rumor mill will persist. This team is too talented not to turn around their season. The Eastern Conference is in a logjam with nobody establishing clear dominance. The Celtics have only played three teams who are currently in the playoffs three times each. Also, the Celtics are dangerously close to the $74.3 million luxury tax threshold. Since they used a mid-level exception on Terry, they cannot go over that mark. The only role players who would bring anything in return are Bradley and Sullinger
This group has a three-game in four day stretch where they play the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, and Miami Heat this weekend. If the Celtics want to get back in the conversation among the Eastern Conference elite teams, they have to start by beating these teams and taking care of business against the lower level teams.
These players have to find their identity and outplay their opponents in the closing minutes of tight contests. If they fail to do this, then the fans can kiss this season and possibly the careers of Garnett and Pierce good-bye.
BEST OF MAXIM
Everyone is waiting for Boston to make that inevitable run that the team always seems to have within it. The Celtics are a veteran team with championship aspirations and knows exactly how to pace themselves. Something though seems off about the 20-20 Celtics and they seem much more in the thick of the fight near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. In perhaps a motivational...
The Celtics have recently suffered from a lack of hustle, but that wasn’t what was plaguing them Thursday night.
After the 89-86 loss to the Knicks, Doc Rivers took to the podium and actually praised his team’s overall effort, noting that if he see the same going forward the team should be alright. The comments were in stark contrast to the coach’s statements after Boston lost...
Here's Doc's interview prior to tonight's highly anticipated Celtics/Knicks match-up.
Video courtesy of Chris Forsberg.
So, who is going to be the first guy out the door?
We are joking, of course. The Celtics are not going to ship out anybody as a knee-jerk reaction for a four-game losing streak, even if coach Doc Rivers did threaten moves just a few days ago if his players did not adjust their attitudes quickly. But anyone hoping for a reactionary move by Celtics president of basketball operations...
When a team is struggling, it’s never too soon to start talking about trades. The Boston Celtics have struggled to find their rhythm this season and a frustrating first half has been the result. Currently riding a five-game losing streak, a change could be coming for the Celtics.
On Sunday night, a furious Doc Rivers threatened major changes if things didn’t improve, sparking...
It’s the last chance for the Boston Celtics to establish themselves of the Eastern Conference
Three weeks ago when the Boston Celtics defeated the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, it was seen as a turning point of the Boston Celtics season. It was the middle of six-game winning streak that reestablished the Celtics defensive swagger, none more evident than the game against...
The Celtics have lost three games in a row, and after a stretch in which the team looked like it was finally turning things around, head coach Doc Rivers is just about out of ideas.
Rivers admitted after their most recent loss that Boston is playing “awful,” and he even threatened to make some serious changes if things don’t take a turn for the better.
“I gotta either find...
BOSTON — The last time Paul Pierce stayed home for NBA All-Star Weekend, the Celtics’ record made it difficult to whine about the snub. The Celtics went 24-58 in the last year of the pre-”New Big Three” era while Pierce, for the first time in his career, spent more than a month watching with major injury as his team give away game after game.
There is no serious injury this...
On Tuesday night the Celtics played their second of two road games, this time in Cleveland against the Cavaliers. The Celtics came in off a bad loss to the Detroit Pistons that caused Doc Rivers to make some harsh statements. Following their loss Doc threatened that if this team didn't get it together big changes were ahead. The team looked to bounce back and stop their three...
The Celtics deserve to be kicked out of the league at this point in time. They were put in a situation where if they just had the will to win they would've won. I don't know how they managed to blow this one. They didn't even try in the second half. This game was handed to them and I feel bad for Doc Rivers.
Tonight's USOTN goes to the decent performance of Jason...
Photo by AP
It seems as though the Boston Celtics are right where they started–square one.
This season has been full of incomplete performances by Doc Rivers’ group, but especially when it comes to Tuesday’s loss against Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers (11-32). Granted Irving did post a 40-point performance, but there should be no excuse for the players to display...
Throughout the Celtics latest losing streak, there seems to be a lot of reflection going on within the team's locker room. A few days ago it was Doc Rivers questioning how bad the team 'wants it' and threatening to get rid of players if the team doesn't start winning. Last night Paul Pierce questioned the team's mental toughness. Among those currently in a state...
Ainge continues to insist he likes the team as is.
After the loss in Detroit on Sunday night Celtics head coach Doc Rivers went on a bit of a tirade, saying that if he couldn't find the right combination to get his team to play hard they were going to have to "get some guys out of here." Yesterday team president Danny Ainge dialed down Doc's comments a bit, and...
Tip: 7:00PM Court: Quicken Loans Arena Watch it: CSNNE Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Tom Washington, Courtney Kirkland and Kevin Scott
Spread: Bos -4.5
Boston Celtics Tickets
On road: 7-12
At home: 4-12
Streak: Lost 3
Streak: Lost 1
Buckets: Pierce (19.0 ppg)
Buckets: Kyrie Irving (23.1 ppg)