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 think this team wants everything easy. They want the easy way out. They want to win easy. And I told them the only way you’re going to win easy is your going to have to play hard. The harder you play, the easier the games become. We’re taking the wrong approach. I gotta either find the right combination, the right guys, or we’re going to get some guys out of here. It’s the bottom line. Because this group right now, they are not playing right. It’s in them to play right. But right now they haven’t been — either because I’m not getting to them, or they are not getting to each other. But at the end of the day, either we gotta do that, or we gotta make changes.”
There it is. Laid out for everyone to see. Doc Rivers has had enough.
I didn’t watch last night’s game. I was watching another local team crap itself and when I came home to turn on the DVR, I was practically begged not to watch it by people on Twitter concerned for my safety. So I’m blissfully unaware of the extent of last night’s mess.
Regardless, I’ve seen this kind of game before with this team. I’m guessing it went something like: (a) Come out soft against a team you should destroy (b) make a big comeback (c) feel good about the comeback and relax (d) other team runs away with it at the end.
The problem this year is that the Celtics are just not in any kind of position to keep doing it. They missed golden opportunities to climb into the top half of the playoff seeding, and now they’re back down to being .500 and an 8th seed. We can point to last year all we want, but this year’s different. There are a lot of new guys on this year’s team. And maybe that’s a bigger problem than we thought
“For me, it’s too laxed; our locker room is too laxed,” Rondo said. “Even though a lot of guy’s personalities are laid back. But we all got to this level by competing. And right now, the talent we have, the record is embarrassing. Until guys get sick and fed with it, I don’t know if things are going to change. We still have to go out there and play the game.”
I’m not sure of more guys flipping tables after losses is the answer either. People are who they are, and laid back guys aren’t going to suddenly become more intense.
No, the answer lies within the threat, and the Celtics willingness to carry it out. Because once you make it, y0u’d better be ready to do it.
That’s how it is with any kind of threat. And Doc may just back pedal a bit today off his heat-of-the-moment comments… but the facts are what they are:
- The Celtics, especially after the contracts given to Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry, are in “win now” mode.
- The Celtics are vastly under-achieving and they rely on one player (Avery Bradley) too much.
- Doc Rivers is not going anywhere.
What happens when a win-now team greatly under-achieves and there’s no chance of firing the coach? You move players. Doc know it. Danny knows it. And now the team knows that it’s on the minds of the men who can make it happen.
Now, the players can strip away the bullshit fans want to hear… the “fans expect more” or the “we have to live up to the tradition of the Celtics” or any of that…
Players on this team are now playing for their jobs and reputations. If you’re a Celtic and you’re listening to what Doc said and you take it to heart, understand that you now have one goal in mind: and that’s to keep your job. If you go out every night and play like your job depends on it, then maybe the fans will get the very fortunate by-product of that…. wins.
Related links: ESPN Boston: Doc throws down the gauntlet | WEEI: Doc rips Celtics: ”We’re taking the wrong approach” | Globe: Doc threatens trades of team doesn’t improve | Herald: Doc erupts after latest loss
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Bradley limited as surprise starter | Lack of urgency hinders C’s | WEEI: Celtics sputter against Pistons | Globe: Celtics embarrassed in Detroit again | Pierce not concerned about recent shooting slump | Herald: Bradley a surprise starter despite injury