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Doc: Last year’s team would be out of the playoffs already

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) June 4, 2012 Celtics News, Doc Rivers 11 Comments

Paul pierce hugging rajon rondoDoc Rivers has, from time to time, shown he’s not entirely fond of last year’s Celtics team.  He’ll tell you flat out that last year’s team was more talented than this one, but this one actually plays together. 

In a conference call today, less than a day removed from a tough, gritty win to even up the Eastern Conference Finals at two games each, he brought it up again.

“I look at this year’s team and last year’s team and last year’s team we would have been out of the playoffs already.  We just weren’t the same.  We weren’t a team.  This team is very close, they’re very competitive.  I think they understand Rondo is the leader of this team, everyone else plays with Rondo.  Kevin is still a great player. Paul is still our best scorer.  They’ve kind of gotten out of each others’ way with roles.  Then I think all the new guy have added a great competitive energy to our basketball team.”

Last year’s team featured guys like Delonte West, Shaquille O’Neal, and Nate Robinson.  Talented players, sure, but drama constantly surrounded them (self imposed or otherwise).  I’m not sure some of the more serious guys on the team liked the way everything was happening.

Us?  We loved it.  We loved the videos and the crazy antics.  But that wears thin after a while.  There’s fun, and then there’s over the top. 

The second part of Doc’s quote, where the guys have all fallen in line behind Rondo, is also interesting.  I know Doc speaks of it like the transition is done, but I think we’re still in the middle of it.  Or maybe past the middle of it.  Maybe the transition will be complete at the beginning of next season when other guys take bigger roles.  But I see where Doc is going with it. 

Interpretations aside, it’s pretty clear: Doc loves this year’s team and he doesn’t really like last year’s.  Maybe in an overly honest moment, someone can get some names and/or examples as to why that is. But that’s what it is. 

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  • RyanH

    This team, to me, is way more likeable. Pietrus, although maddening, is nothing but a team-first guy. Reverand Keyon Dooling is one of two people in the world who strikes a chord with Rondo, which says a lot. His leadership and energy is invaluable. Avery and Bass are two of the most polite young kids in the league, and I’m sure their work ethic brings a ton to the team, even with avery out. Everyone love Quis for his commitment to being a Celtic after all that has happened. It’s just a great group of people, which we havent been able to say since Leon, Posey, Eddie and PJ were those roleplayers.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/vandelay28 Lakerhater

    You left JO out of your post, which the team only got better with his departure and the emergence of steamer off the bench.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a584cc24970b sam_lt

    Let’s not forget Baby

  • Dutchgreen

    I so want Jackie Mac to make this Big 3 era into the topic of her next book project…

  • bob

    i think doc refers to the post trade team. they had so many new players after the deadline (green, krstic, arroyo, murphy, sasha) they just couldn’t get them into the new system. the pre trade squad had best record in the league and played good ball.

  • thesource4Life

    Last year’s team wasn’t healthy for the entire season. I think after the Perkins trade, that’s when the Celtics post-season chances went down hill. Post Perkins, the Celtics were deep with Shaq, Daniels, Jermaine, Delonte, Wafer, Erden, Baby, but they weren’t healthy.
    So I disagree with Doc strongly. I honestly believe pre-trade that roster would of beaten Miami or Chicago.

  • thesource4Life

    Agree. I think this season’s bench is just more athletic than the previous benches.

  • Lee in Oregon

    well said, Baby should have been the first name mentioned. I’d also add that Avery Bradley was a big part of what’s been right about this current group.

  • http://halftimechat.com/2012/03/wagering-on-miami-dolphins-is-a-head-scratcher/ eddie

    Yea this team has really founbd something special this year yet i dont think they will be goign to the finals i dont even think they will win game 5 and i wrote all aboutit on my blog so come by check it out and enjoy! also i tell u how to bet it right here http://nbawagers.com/2012/06/how-about-we-do-best-of-three-now/

  • Nora

    Anything can happen. You can write as many blogs about it as you want but TEAMS decides games not bloggers

  • Kricky

    Let’s not forget what a HUGE disappointment Shaq was last year. He played great in the beginning and the team looked absolutely unstoppable with him on the floor (remember those lobs form Rondo leading to massive dunks??) But then came the injuries and speculation about him coming back or not. And when he did he was in absolutely horrendous shape and reinjured himself. In between all his social media BS and corny public appearances (Shaq at Harvard Square, Shaq on the Late Show, etc.) were a huge distraction and raise questions about just how committed he was to getting back on the floor and playing for a championship.
    Even Miller-lite-uzzling Sheed managed to give us more than Shaq.