This rivalry — what does it mean to you?
It means a lot. I know the history. I love the history of the game.
To be part of it is huge for me, personally. But you feel a
responsibility. You don’t want them to beat you. And that’s just the
bottom line. Let’s say you were playing Phoenix. You still would want to
win the world championship, obviously. But you’re playing the Lakers,
and it’s like you’re thinking more about you want to beat them and less
about wanting to win the title. And that’s probably good.
I like the turn Doc is making.
It started with the trophy ceremony after beating Orlando when he said "This starting 5 has never lost a series… EVER."
Doc went from a "I believe in these guys" kinda "rah rah" guy… to a "Hey, everyone… we're here to kick your asses. Who wants some of this?" kinda guy.
He no longer seems to be saying things like "We CAN do it". He's saying things like "We WILL do it." Like this:
I know we did, we thought, “Let’s get back to them.” I think they
thought the same way; at least, that’s what I’m hearing now. It’s
happened, and we’ll be ready for it.
This is what makes him such a good coach. He can sense what the team needs and he's now making the subtle shift. He's now leading this team into a streetfight. No more canned crap. He's rolling up his sleeves and leading his team into battle.
If the Celtics are going to win this series, they're going to have to impose their wills on these pretty boys from LA. They're going to have to beat them up… make them spend an extra 15 minutes soaking in the hot tub… make them feel the games the next morning.
The Celtics need to be the bruisers from Beantown… bullying the Lakers into submission. Doc's starting to subtly adopt that attitude. And I love it.