Doc Rivers was on WEEI earlier today and while a lot of people are focusing on him saying everything is cool between him and Rondo, I want to focus on something else he said:
“I underestimated a couple of things,” Rivers said. “Number one, the lack of practice time, how that all was going to affect us and every team. And you know, one thing we didn’t do where some teams did, I don’t think all of our guys came in to the beginning of camp in great shape. And I thought when you’re an older team and you’re not in great shape and you don’t have a lot of time to get in shape, I thought that really affected us.”
This goes along with what I've said before about the lockout.
I firmly believe that a few guys, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett among them, were basing their offseason level of activity on how the lockout was going. And I think once the union decertified, they thought either the season wouldn't happen, or it wouldn't start until 2012 and it would be much like the 50 game season played during the last lockout. What they didn't anticipate happening was the insane ripple effect that led to saving the season. Caught by surprise, they came into camp in less than stellar condition.
Doc calling guys out… saying an "older team" is "not in great shape"… he's not talking about the rookies, or most of the bench guys. And he's not talking about Ray Allen, because he's always in great shape.
And let me just add to this that I'm not blaming KG or Pierce for trying to preserve themselves. These guys are older… they need to make sure they can give all they've got in games. And I can see them trying to gauge the lockout so they could be ready for the season to start. I'm just saying they got caught by surprise and burned.
That's why they're playing better now, and why they looked so horrible to start the season. They're finally rounding into game shape. And it's just one of the many factors that go into explaining why this season is going the way it's going.