Doc Doesn’t Know What Rest Means
March 1, 2009

Last Monday, Doc had this to say about keeping the Big 3 fresh:

“Even if I play a Billy (Walker) and a Gabe (Pruitt) and we’re struggling with them in, I’ve got to sit and take it because I can’t burn Paul and Ray out. That’s going to be a tough one.”

Apparently Doc can’t “sit and take it.” Paul Pierce played nearly the entire game (47 minutes, 42 seconds) against the Pistons. Bill Walker and J.R. Giddens played 38 seconds – combined.

This reckless coaching behavior will come back to bite us in the ass in the playoffs. I guarantee it.

Short Leash
February 26, 2009

marbury

The Celtics are starting to talk openly about the impending addition of Stephon Marbury to the Celtics.  And one thing is being made clear… and it should ease our minds… he’ll be kept on a short leash.  If he steps out of line, the Celtics will put him back IN line.

“It’s about our locker room,” Rivers said. “It always has been and it always will be. If I don’t think our locker room’s right, it’ll get right.

“I think we have a great group. We have a high-character team. I think this team can absorb it, and if we can’t, then we’ll find that out as well. . . . Every player who comes here has to commit to winning.”

Said Paul Pierce:

“Doc doesn’t have to discipline as much because we have a lot of leaders on this team. If there’s a problem or there’s things that need to be taken care of within the locker room, we’re able to do that because of the veteran guys we have.”

and Ray:

“We know what it’s been like to have to guard him, to play against him over the years. . . . Having myself, Paul and KG and having great defensive players behind him, I’m not sure he’s ever had that, so it does make him even better.”

To sum all that up, you better but what we’re selling in Boston… or else you won’t last long.  To be honest, I needed to hear that.  I needed to hear these guys send the public message that they won’t let anyone come in and be disruptive.  I think a few of us did.  That won’t change the minds of the Celtics fans who feel Marbury doesn’t deserve to wear the Green and White… which is fine… but it should make us feel better about this signing.

Herald:  A good sign?  That’s debatableShot at ring?  Mikki likes itCeltics take ugly fall |  Globe:  Marbury biding timeRoad trip ends with a lossMoore a big liftPortland, ME gets C’s D-league team |   Pierce plays with pain |   WEEI:  Surviving without KG

“I’ve got to sit and take it”
February 23, 2009

That’s what Doc Rivers is saying about what he’ll do when guys like Gabe Pruitt and Bill Walker struggle while Ray Allen or Paul Pierce are on the bench.

“With Tony (Allen) out and Kevin (Garnett) out and Scal (Brian Scalabrine) playing 4 (power forward), that really puts us in a bind,” Rivers said. “Even if I play a Billy (Walker) and a Gabe (Pruitt) and we’re struggling with them in, I’ve got to sit and take it because I can’t burn Paul and Ray out. That’s going to be a tough one.

“They’re so smart; they know when they have rest coming up. Like the other night in Utah, I wanted to take Paul out, and he begged. He said, ‘Listen, we’re not going to practice tomorrow. I can stay.’ But I don’t look at it for that game. I look at it for the playoffs and legs, so it’s a tough one.

“We have to figure a way of getting through this and keeping their legs at the same time.”

This is the big challenge for the C’s down the stretch.  Keeping the Big 3 fresh.  I’m telling you… it’s going to mean a few more losses than we’re used to.  It might mean Doc Rivers doing like he said… and keeping some guys in longer than he wants.  I’m just preparing you all for it now so when it happens, we’re not overrun by “Doc’s an idiot… why did Pierce sit for so long”  comments.

And a lot of people will look at last year’s team and say “well… they had problems on the road in the playoffs, so they’ll NEED the top seed.”  Well, the top seed will be nice, but those people seem to forget that the Celtics ended the playoffs by closing out Detroit at home and taking the one game they needed in Los Angeles.  They got better on the road as the playoffs progressed.  Those people aren’t taking into account the adjustments those guys were still making to one another.  This year is a different team.  We’re not going to see the same thing.

So embrace the rest where those guys can get it.  Don’t sweat what will result, because this is going to help us in the long run.

Doc Fined For Criticizing Officials
February 7, 2009

$15,000, according to Gary Dzen:

Celtics head coach Doc Rivers has been fined $15,000 for verbal abuse of game officials, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA executive vice president, basketball operations.

Rivers was fined for his action following the Celtics’ 110-109 overtime loss to the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, Jan. 5 at TD Banknorth Garden. The fine was levied specifically because Rivers berated officials on the floor directly after the game.

No Excuses
February 6, 2009

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After getting 5 minutes of sleep and deleting about 100 pretty vulgar Laker troll comments, I just want to address some of the things that are being said by Celtics fans.

1: The refs were horrbile last night.  I agree.  And they were horrible for both sides.  It was one of those games where if Ray makes that shot, Lakers fans are all crying about the refs and its Celtics fans who are telling them to accept it.  Yes, the foul the disqualified KG was insanely bad.  But you can probably find an equally bad call on the other side.  For some reason, David Stern is happy with the refs being a subject of conversation after every big game.

2: Eddie House and his minutes.  Eddie was on fire last night.  He didn’t get crunch time minutes.  Ok, I can see how that’s an issue on the surface.  But who would he come in for?  It can’t be for Rondo, because we needed a sure-handed ball handler.  It’s not like we were down 6 and we needed 3’s.  The Lakers didn’t take a 2nd half lead until the overtime.  He’s not coming in for Ray Allen or Paul Pierce, no matter how gassed Pierce looked.  Pierce was playing great D on Kobe, which Eddie wouldn’t do.  He’s not coming in for Perk, obviously.  Which leaves Glen Davis.

The Lakers did a good job of defending and forcing Davis to take jumpers.  Hell, Davis gave the Celtics a lead in the overtime with a jumper… and he made a huge hustle play late in the 4th.  But does that mean Eddie comes in for him?  And does what… guard Lamar Odom?  Pau Gasol?

Yes Eddie was on fire.  But I don’t see what giving the Lakers and obvious mismatch does to help.

3: The last play.  Ray has 5 seconds to inbound.  Rondo faked going for the alley oop, Paul tried to hold off his defender to receive the ball, and Eddie House was trying to sneak behind everyone.  After 3 seconds, he gets the ball into Davis who immediately hands it off to Ray.  The Lakers had that play defended well.  You probably could have called a foul at the end… but you can probably say that of every last-second shot ever taken.

Doc has had a stellar string of out-of-bounds plays working out.  The Lakers defended it well, and Ray couldn’t get a clean look.

Really, what no one is talking about is how gassed Paul Pierce looked.  He wasn’t moving well at the end and he couldn’t take over.  He missed some key free throws in the overtime that could have changed the complexion of the game.  He looked like he simply ran out of energy.  I wonder if he’s fighting the same flu that other guys are dealing with.

Herald:  For KG, a killerCeltics feeling foulIt’s official, Doc’s unhappyRay hangs with stars |  Globe:  Gloom and broomPoor judgement callAllen again an All StarSetback sickens Garnett |  Camerato:  is this really just another game? |  Souza:  Reversal of fortune

Rip Hamilton Is Gross
January 30, 2009

Ray Allen and Eddie House are both hot.  Ray Allen and Eddie House are now wearing those ridiculous shooting sleeves.  Eddie says he’s wearing it because his elbow is sore and he’ll take it off when his arm feels right.  Ray has a much more disgusting reason.

Allen began wearing the sleeve on his left arm to defend repeated scratches from Pistons guard Richard Hamilton in last season’s Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics guard was mired in a prolonged shooting slump at the time, but he regained his form and has continued wearing the sleeve this season.

I know we’ve mentioned Rip Hamilton’s disgustingly long nails before… but just reading that again creeped me out.  How does he shoot with those talons?

Back to the Celtics: Jess Camerato has a closer look at Eddie’s hot shooting.

And the Celtics are not happy about Ray not making the team.

“coaches all over the league talk about sacrificing,” Doc Rivers said after yesterday’s practice but before the selections were announced. “I might be venting for no reason, but I just get that sense they’re being hypocritical because somebody who doesn’t make it on our group (sacrifices). (But) that’s what they did. They voted for numbers instead of sacrifice, wins and efficiency.”

And here’s Danny

“Now that he’s having the best season of his career – the most efficient season of his career – this happens?  Ray is the most efficient scorer in the league. He’s one of the best wing players in the conference and arguably our best offensive player.

“I think it’s an interesting thing because the coaches vote on this, and they’re always preaching that you should sacrifice so your team can win. And then they go and pick other players.”

And let me cruise over to ESPN.com and check the league standings.  Oh… lookey here at who has the best record again.  Orland was even nice enough to help us out.

Herald:  C’s/Pistons scouting report |  Globe: Pierce an All Star reserveFrom an automatic to shift Not his lucky day |  Souza:  Palace under seize (and practice notes) |  Megliola:  Busy week ahead |  MLive.com:  Pistons know bench is key |  SI:  25 years of David Stern

Seriously… 6 Minutes?
January 7, 2009

Just curious, Doc Rivers, as to why Gabe Pruitt only got 6 minutes of burn while Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo played a combined 95 minutes?

I don’t know if it would have changed the result.  And I’m not hanging this loss on Doc.  But when Tony Allen is out… 6 minutes from Gabe Pruitt (and only 17 from Eddie House, for that matter) just seem to stick out like a sore thumb in the box score.

Rondo Has Balls
December 20, 2008

Usain Bolt is the fastest dude on the planet.

Rajon Rondo might be the fastest dude in the NBA.  And he’ll be damned if anyone is going to walk into HIS house and out do him.

“I challenged him,” said Rondo, who finished two assists shy of his career high with 15 helpers. “I told him I don’t think he wants it, though. Yeah, I told him that – you don’t want it.

“But I also told him that he might see me in 2012. He said ‘OK, see you there.’ ”

So what about it, Doc?

“If you put dribbling into it, then maybe Rondo has a chance,” said the Celtics coach. “I hope he was kidding, but you never know with Rondo.”

I’m telling you… Rondo would keep it close for like 15 yards or so.  Then it will be a bloodbath.

Quote of the night comes from Paul Pierce, who said this about Bostonians handling the snow:

“This is Boston,” he said. “This is not going to stop them. I’ve seen worse snowstorms and they’ve come out. I saw a guy jogging today in shorts.”

Herald:  Celtics plow by ChicagoNo stopping the streak |  Globe:  Bull’s EyeGame plan for snow storm is a winnerPerk’s patience pays off |  Souza:  Cruise control |  T&G:  Celts enjoy this streak more |   Perk homes inLakers lose to HeatGiddens drops 25 in D League game

Why Kevin McHale Is A Bad GM
December 18, 2008

Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

I’m on record:  I hate that Kevin McHale is now a joke in the NBA.  But when he does things like blame bloggers for the spate of coach firings, it’s kinda easy to see why.

“I think you’re going to see more and more shorter term stuff in our league,” he said. “Just because the access now, there’s so much media availability and everything else. There’s just so many bloggers; everybody’s got an opinion. There’s all kinds of stuff going on. Sometimes that starts forming the opinion of people in front offices, too, and owner. It’s been kind of a crazy year so far.”

If Kevin McHale lets morons like me influence his opinion on who will stay and who will go, then he needs to be banned from every front office forever.  If I’m an owner, and I’m hear McHale say bloggers start forming the opinion of people in front offices… then I’m not even calling him for an interview.

Being a GM means you tune all that crap out.  You don’t listen to the fans and their overreactions.  You don’t read the columnists who will often take bombastic approaches just to sell papers or drive ratings.  As a GM, you evaluate your coach and your talent based on everything you see… and everything fans and columnists don’t get to see.  If you’re letting the bloggers and writers influence your opinion… then you’re a horrible GM.  And if your owner is the one reading that stuff… you need to have the sack, and intelligence, to explain to him that the fans and writers are wrong… and here’s why.

You’ll see a backlash today on the web as bloggers defend themselves… but the bigger issue is the tacit admission that general managers, perhaps McHale in particular, are influence by what we write.

Ugh, it kills me to write this stuff about such a pure Celtic.  Just kills me.

By the way:  What do all 6 fired head coaches have in common with Doc Rivers?  They all have the same agent… and Doc is the only head coaching client that agent has left that still has a team.

And there’s a special shipping deal TODAY AND TOMORROW ONLY at the Red’s Army store.  Buy something today or tomorrow… and your standard shipping will be upgraded to 2-day shipping for free.  This way, you procrastinators can still get something in time for Christmas.

Can We Add Rondo To The List Now?
December 16, 2008

Photo by Steve Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Steve Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

I’m going to keep this brief.  I think Rajon Rondo can officially be classified as being “in the class” of Deron Williams and Chris Paul.  My interpretation of that is simple:  On any given night, any of those guys could outplay the other.  Rondo has torched Paul, and Paul has torched Rondo.  Williams has torched Rondo, and last night, Rondo returned the favor.  In my world, that puts them in the same class.  They don’t do the same things.  They don’t play with the same teammates.  Their games, and their roles, are different.

But make no mistake about it.  Rajon Rondo IS in the class of those other two “elite” point guards. Just ask his teammates.  They know what he’s about.

Moving on…

In this copycat world of sports, I’m surprised so many teams have itchy trigger fingers.  On the Examiner, I make the case that the handling of Doc Rivers should have shown how patience (and a good front office) can work out.

I can think of at least on Red’s Army reader (and 2 Red’s Army founders) who will appreciate the Celtics drinking game.

And the latest blogger MVP/ROY rankings are out, this time hosted by The Dream Shake.  LeBron James and Derrick Rose top each list.  Paul Pierce has dropped off the list, but another Celtic has made it on.

And be sure to check out SI’s photo gallery of the Celtics longest winning streaks (which includes a great picture of  a svelte, snarling Tommy Heinsohn).

Herald:  Pierce’s knee okwalks off latest scare Eddie off to attend funeral |  Globe:  Better watch out Pierce shrugs off injurySome fired up by NBA dismissals |  Camerato:  Phelps makes splash with Celtics |  WEEI:  Pierce is MIP, Most Indispensable Player |  Megliola:  Defense a key for these C’s |  Souza: Jazz not all that |  Patriot Ledger:  Rondo points the way |  T&G:  Doc can relate to fired victimsJam session silences Jazz |  ESPN:  Truth about Pierce’s game |  Daily Dime:  Rondo proves C’s more than just big 3Video:  Rondo takes over

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