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.
“Looking at [the box score], I thought it was a miracle going over the game tonight,” Rivers told reporters in San Antonio. “Listen, they go into the fourth quarter with six fouls total? That means they are one heck of a defensive basketball team, they were terrific.”When a reporter quipped that Rivers appeared to be dripping with sarcasm, Rivers admitted his frustration.”It was being sarcastic, but, listen, what can you do? It is what it is,” said Rivers. “They shot more free throws. Two of our free throws were [the result of] technicals, so we really didn’t even get that [many]. It’s hard to win games on the road when teams go to the line like that and we don’t go to the line.”Rivers was quick to point out that free throw disparity was far from Boston’s lone transgression on this night.
“Our turnovers were a big factor in the game tonight, and then the 3-point line,” said Rivers, whose team allowed San Antonio to shoot 12-of-25 (48 percent) beyond the arc. “To me those were the three areas that hurt us: They got a bunch of 3s down the stretch when the game was decided, but I thought the turnovers and the free throws, if you had to put your finger on two things. We were playing hard, too, but we just couldn’t get it. Couldn’t get to the line. The thing that free throws do is they allow you to set your defense. And it allowed them to do it a lot tonight.”
What is that saying that Doc always like to use with his players during scenarios like these? “Get past mad.” Doc is right to a certain extent but it’s never a good look to turn to the officials as your first reason for losing. The problem is that the Celtics were gassed as a team and since it’s mid-December, this is a bad sign. This team was promoted as a team that would have great depth, that would give the veterans (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and to a certain extent, Rajon Rondo) a lot more rest throughout the season to save their legs for the playoffs.
Well when it’s only December 16th, and they are already talking about fatigue, well the plan isn’t going how they wanted it to. Sure, the OT and double OT games can happen and you’re going to ride your best players to grab a win in those cases. But the Celtics need to figure something out because they’re close to .500 again, trending backwards rapidly again and are already claiming exhaustion before Christmas. Doc is a great coach and I have complete faith that he can figure something out. Until then, we can all expect this to be a roller coaster running on an incessant loop.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – C’s struggling to defend 3-point line | Globe – Determined Duncan still coming up big for Spurs | Celtics’ inconsistency doesn’t concern Chris Webber (Sunday Notes) | Herald – Doc Rivers points to Gregg Popovich | Paul Pierce won’t look ahead, back (Sunday Notes) | CSNNE – Weak in the heart of Texas | Heinsohn: Celtics need to get on the same page | Marshall: Jason Terry fully understands his role | Tanguay: 3-point shooting sinks C’s | Danny Green helps Spurs down Celtics | Garnett: You could see the fatigue | Parker wins PG battle vs Rondo