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.
“I’ve got to do a better job of preparing the team,” Rivers told reporters in Houston. “I’ve got to do a better job of playing the right guys, because everybody shouldn’t play every night, the way we’re playing. So we’ve got to figure this out. I’ve been saying that. This is the first game in a while — I think we’ve been trending well, but this was a step backward for us. Just in the way we played. I thought this was a step backwards for us.”
“I thought we started out flat [in the] beginning of the game, we started off flat in the third quarter,” Rivers said. “After the middle of the first quarter, I thought our defense from that point until halftime was fantastic. Against a high-scoring team, I think they had 42 points or something? I mean, that’s terrific defense. And then we come out with no energy, flat, to start the third quarter, and even from there, we just never really got back into it. We had some runs, but you never felt like we were going to win the game tonight. Don’t know why. Very disappointed in the loss, though.”
Doc Rivers is standing up and taking the blame, but is this really his fault? He’s got a Jekyll-and-Hyde team. While the rotations were a bit jumpy at the start of the season, I’ve come to like the way it’s shaken out.
As for the teams defensive woes, it’s the same old problem. The perimeter defense sucks:
“It’s a shame because someone’s going to look at the stat sheet and they’re going to say our bigs got beat up tonight. Our bigs got beat up because our guards and our small forwards and our power forwards couldn’t keep the ball in front of them. At some point, it’s a one-on-one defense, and that makes the team defense better, and we didn’t do a very good job of that.”
Leandro Barbosa is in danger of falling into Doc’s doghouse. He’s logged a total of 23 minutes the past six games. Defensive shortcomings aside, I’d still like to see him on the court for about 10-12 minutes.
Sherrod Blakely thinks Jason Collins might see more time, at the expense of Chris Wilcox. I think that would be a colossal mistake. Again, Wilcox value on offense offsets his defensive liability.
We’ve passed the quarter point of the season and the Celtics are 12-10. They remain consistently inconsistent. While I’m growing more frustrated and concerned with every lackluster effort, I’m not approaching the ledge just yet. But I can see it…
The rest of the links:
CSNNE – Rondo: We dug ourselves a hole | Garnett offers condolences to shooting victims | Emotional night for KG, McHale | Globe – Garnett, McHale embrace | Celtics can’t stop Rockets | Herald – Celtics run out of town | Trying times for McHale | ESPN Boston – KG’s emotional moment