Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“We’ve talked on a few occasions,” the Celtics president of basketball operations said. “The bottom line is that he’s not ready to think about his future. But there is a standing offer. I recently talked to his agent about it, and for now we just let it go at that.”
By Rivers’ admission, his working environment couldn’t be much better. He credited Ainge with supporting him through two “bad” seasons prior to the advent of the new Big Three.
Ainge said that the decision was easy — that he could see where Rivers was headed as a leader.
“I just believed that Doc is a great leader,” Ainge said. “During those times when we were struggling, I was at all of those practices. I saw what he was teaching, and I just felt that we were doing everything the right way.
Let's face it… the Celtics have some huge egos on this team. Some of these guys are among the best ever… or THE best ever (…or they think they're the best)… at what they do. Yet Doc gets these guys to march in line and do what they need to do for this team.
I've had debates about where Doc fits in the discussion of best coaches in the league. I'll be honest… I don't know how to really compare him to, say, a Gregg Popovich because I don't know who is better for his particular team than Doc is for the Celtics. Doc has got these guys all on the same page… so I'm with Danny. You tell give his agent the blank contract and say "just have him sign this when he's ready."
On Page 2: The C's pick up the pace without KG
But an interesting trend has emerged over Boston's four most recent losses: Each game featured 89 possessions or fewer (the four-game average was 88.8 possessions).
So what gives? Those four losses all came without Kevin Garnett and it appears the absence of Boston's defensive quarterback rendered the team unable to escape in games that are played at a glacial pace.
That's left Celtics coach Doc Rivers preaching a faster pace to his point guards, hoping to offset Boston's defensive lapses by elevating the offensive intensity, particularly as the Celtics scorch the field, shooting better than 50 percent this season.
The Celtics have trouble with those low-pace games without KG because they lose one of their best mid-range shooters who can get a good shot off whenever he needs to.
Think about the single-digit shot clock shots that are being taken. They're often Glen Davis jumpers. Now we know Baby's gotten better at those, but he's not KG. And with KG you can dump it to him in the block and he can turn and hit a fade-away. KG's release point is so high, it's very difficult to block his shot. He's a great safety valve when the clock is ticking down on offense.
On defense, he's the last line of protection at the rim. Teams won't hit as many shots later in the clock with KG back there (a) because he gets his teammates in better defensive position to make a play and (b) he'll come up with a block or rebound that will end the possession.
So you do what you gotta do. And for the C's… it's picking up the pace a bit and becoming a little more offensive-minded.
The rest of the links:
WEEI: Doc needs more out of Semih Erden | Herald: Homestand helps Celtics convalesce | Jermaine, Doc brace for long-term loss | CSNNE: Shaq not worried about Dwight | Globe: Healthier outlook | Old reliable Allen will shoot past Miller soon | Masslive: Nate Robinson mentors cousin at Hoop Hall classic