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Your Morning Dump… Where the Celtics are tuning out Doc

Nick Sannicandro January 23, 2013 Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, The Morning Dump 52 Comments

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.

It’s practically inevitable in a sport where the average player owns a guaranteed contract worth twice that of his coach. There’s a reason Patriots players still fear Bill Belichick after 13 seasons, and there’s a reason Red Sox players stuffed themselves with fried chicken at the end of Terry Francona’s eight-year run.

WEEI- Are Celtics tuning out Doc Rivers? – Ben Rohrbach  

This is something that we have heard around this time the past two seasons. Are the Celtics struggling because they are tuning out Doc Rivers? While there is no clear cut way to break it down and find out the correct answer, we can look at indicators and make an educated guess, though that method can prove to be faulty as well (See: Boston Celtics 2009-10). This argument will likely have two very different opinions on it, one which strongly denies that the struggles of late are to blame on the coach, and the other that sees some truth to this article. Both have very realistic reasons to believe their point, but  we do have to wonder, has Docs’ message finally started to fall upon deaf ears?

In the early 80s, with the Celtics as an undisciplined and out of order team, the Celtics decided they needed to bring in a disciplinarian to straighten things out. Bill Fitch came in and shook things up and lead the Celtics to a championship. The only problem with a guy like that though is that there can only be so many dramatic speeches, “must win” games, and special meetings to bring to the attention of a certain aspect of the game before things start to get ignored by his players. That is why Fitch didn’t last long in Boston. While Doc isn’t as brazen as Fitch was, his value on defense is something that a player like Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo have heard for a significant amount of time. Is it any indication that the two players that have heard this the longest, and are expected to be the leaders of this team, have been the quietest during this slump?

“They want the easy way out,” Rivers told reporters. “They want to win easy, and I told them the only way you’re going to win easy is you’re going to have to play hard. The harder you play, the easier the games become.

Doc Rivers had a quote similar to this earlier in the season when he saw his team glazing through a game against a mediocre opponent, concerning is the fact that a similar quote is surfacing again this week with similar impact on his team. Greg Popovich is the only coach in the NBA with more tenure than Doc, but lets face it, Popovich is a mouse compared to Doc when it comes to in game approach, yelling on the sidelines, ect. What’s clear is that the young guys still get it and are still attentive to Doc’s message.  Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, and even Jeff Green have all been making improvements this season; we know that KG is always going to give his best, but it is the two longest tenured Celtics on the roster that seem to be giving the lax performance this season, rather than leading the team and being an extension of the coach as a leader is expected to be, these two have seemed to remain distant and uninvolved, not coincidentally the names Pierce and Rondo have dropped into the trade conversation across the league; what is left to be determined is that if in fact those two are tuning their coach out, will Danny Ainge have the brass to make a bold statement and trade two fan favorites for the better of the team?

The Rest:

Boston Herald: Doc’s words unheard- Steve BulpettCSNNE: Cavs’ latest team to beat slumping Celtics- A. Sherrod Blakely , CSNNE: Pierce leadership not wavering amidst up and down play- A. Sherrod Blakely , NESN: Celtics Can’t Rely on Past Success to Carry Underperforming Team Into Contention (Podcast), Boston Herald: Jared Sullinger proving critics wrong – Marla Ridenour , ESPN Boston: C’s still searching for consistency- Chris Forsberg 

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  • Chuck – Red’s Army

    I don’t think Pierce and Rondo are tuning out Doc. In Washburn’s piece yesterday about the locker room turning into a playhouse, he specifically mentioned that PP, RR and KG were not a problem.

    If guys who are underperforming – Bass, Green and Terry are tuning out Doc… then the players need to go. Not Doc.

    Pierce’s problems are less mental and more physical. He’s lost a lot of his game this year.

    Regarding your comment about Pop being a mouse on the sidelines… yes, he’s less animated than Doc Rivers. But Pop may be the most demanding, straight-talking coach in the history of the league.

    • Jester00

      Word

  • Caterpillar from Italy

    It’s a serious possibility.

    The way Rondo is playing really changed over the last stretch. He’s been selfish, erratic, almost playing by himself other than tuned with teammates. I’ve never been a huge fan of his playing, but as long as he had Celtics car keys from Doc, it was fine with me, and of course he has the talent to drive. But something changed for sure.

    The Truth, I don’t know about it. The latest miserable playing, I still don’t understand if his tank is empty even trying to do his best or if he wants to part ways with Doc.

  • PicturePlanet

    Either way, this team is hard to watch right now

  • Matt W

    My gut tells me the problem is Jason Terry.

  • Steve

    Were we saying the same things last year midway through the season? Something tells me they can and will play much better as the season progresses.

  • 00dc2

    PP: his body (legs) are either tired from heavy strength work trying to build for the last playoff run or from getting old.. Doc should have a handle on that.. and he’s probably forcing bad shots to make up for his inability to get to the basket as a result..

    RR: we should probably trade his show-boating @ss out of Boston for a solid PG who doesnt make any highlight reels or pad his stats to break streak records or play up for nationally televised games or think he’s more important than the team.. sorry its harsh but i have to say that is how i am seeing RR now days.. it saddens me to say it

    Doc: well is it partly Doc’s fault for letting things get like this? The situation with RR probably is.. maybe..

    JS and AB are the future of this team.. Danny really picked well.. very well… really love these kids.. so mature, selfless, tough and smart.. cannot be traded under any condition!

    • Curt

      “really love these kids.. so mature, selfless, tough and smart.. cannot be traded under any condition!”

      Was this not the view of Rondo a couple years ago? Selfless, tough, smart…

      • Shawn

        It was the view in 2011 after the Heat series and during every playoff game. He just takes most of the regular season off.

    • http://Yahoo.com Dishay

      How does rondo think that he’s more important than the team? Also, he’s been passing up Lay ups for an assist long before the streak and he’s still doing it so u can’t say that. The only problem with rondo is that he doesn’t even try to defend. It’s not just one person that’s the problem. Defense is the biggest issue

      • WinstonSalems

        Rondo gambles too much on defense and he tries to be overly aggressive in the passing lanes. he’s a one man fast break on offense and exerts all his energy trying to make something out of nothing, as half the team is dragging behind him. by the time he gets back on defense, he’s a step behind and half out of breath. sometimes he has a knack for making himself look at lot more lazy than he really is. he’ll make a swipe for the ball, as the ballhandler is driving by him, gets beat and forces the defense to collapse, leaving someone wide open. the c’s talk about trust issues on defense. i wouldn’t want to be the guy who has to bail rondo out everytime on defense. that’s the problem. when Rondo doesn’t have to guard the man with the ball, the C’s show they have some life on defense. when he’s out there bullfighting, teams such as the Kings, Pistons and Hornets, run the C’s off the court.

        Rondo can’t do everything, nor should he be expected to. He’s a superstar talent, but he isn’t paid like one. some would argue that this is his ceiling. ultimate playmaking point guard who can’t shoot. all that said, i still wouldn’t trade him, with the idea that we could still win a championship without him. The Heat struggle to find an answer for Rondo and he tends to have some of his biggest games against them. It’s presumptuous to think that the C’s and Heat will meet again in the playoffs. However, if they do, no way they beat the Heat without #9.

  • eddysamson

    something has got to change, shits not working as is. Doc’s gotta shake the starters up a bit, try something different. But hes not going to do that. No, what we need is some moves to be made.

  • RedsLoveChild

    A coach is only as good as his players, and Rivers has been on both ends of that spectrum.

    The Celtics went into this season by tremendously overestimating how much PP and KG had left “in the tank”, especially in the case of Pierce. Ainge did not realize that the needle was actually on “empty”.

    In 2004, KG led Minnesota to the WCF. PP led Boston to the 2nd round in 2005. Neither one of those teams had anywhere near the degree of talent this current Celtic team has.

    That shows how far removed from their primes KG & PP really are…how washed-up they are.

    If the KG & PP of 6-9 years ago had this current Celtic roster to play with…they would be doing damage.

    • Double P

      Next up: bears DO in fact shit in the woods

  • Double P

    For the people saying “why blow it up what good would that do?” My question to that is what good would riding this out do?? Just to get knocked out by the heat? The only way we have a chance with the heat is to be big and pound the paint. Still haven’t seen more reasonable trade than Paul and bass for gasol and ebanks. Having kg pau sully is a great big rotation

    • RedsLoveChild

      Gasol for Pierce???

      That`s like asking the Lakers to give us Kate Upton…and we`ll give them Whoopi Goldberg!

      • KY Celts fan

        Gasol ain’t that good anymore either.

        But I will thank you for making me think of Kate Upton.

        • RedsLoveChild

          He`s also not close to being the complete “train-wreck” that Paul Pierce is.

          • frickenWaaaltaaah

            So go root for the Lakers, chump.

          • RedsLoveChild

            Ok, Einstein

  • iPEEgreen

    docs head now!
    bench starters and start bench
    shake it up
    docs head now
    this is ugly

  • Pete
    • Matt W

      There are exactly no reasons for the Kings to make that deal.

      • Curt

        Yes there is. They’re selling the team. What do they care about who gets shipped to Seattle?

        • Dave

          The people buying care. I bet DMC NOT being traded is part of the deal.

          • Shawn

            not to mention salaries don’t match and we’re trading one good player thats retiring in a year or two for 1 potential superstar, and 2 borderline all stars who are young

    • Dave

      This trade failed.

      Try this one: http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=amkmvph

      • KP

        Would this really help us?

        • Dave

          Short term, yes. We need low post scoring. Pau would give that. Jamison spells Green for the time he’s out there, and can also back up KG, who would be back at the 4. We’d lose Terry’s theoretical clutch shooting but Lee would get more minutes, and has shown he can produce on D and hit the corner 3.

          • Me

            We Are Helping The Lakers?

            HAHAHA

            SO FUNNY!

  • frickenWaaaltaaah

    Last night was mostly about Kyrie Irving. That was probably his best game as a pro. He was in control for most of it and in control for all of crunch time.

    There are only a couple of guys who seem to be tuning out not just Doc but also Kevin and Paul and Rondo. It’s our entire core that they can’t mesh with. They want out and it shows.

    • KGino

      Still not sure why AB wasn’t exclusively guarding Irving… It was mostly rondo getting burnt over and over.

      • Shawn

        I think he’s still slowed by his injury possibly. Didn’t watch the game but heard that Bradley staarted off guarding him but was getting torched.

        • KGino

          i’ll take a 50% bradley on D over a 100% rondo.

  • Shawn

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZPrMqbisIxg
    Why isn’t Blake Griffin suspended? he touched a ref!

  • Nick Sannicandro

    Shawn…because people in the NBA are under the illusion that he is actually talented and with that illusion he receives the lebron treatment

    • Shawn

      it was sarcasm and I know ahaha, just pointing stuff up

    • Larry Legend

      Are u seriously saying Blake Griffin isn’t talented? I mean he’s not in lebron category not close, but not talented?… And Im not saying it cuz of his dunks. The guy has some talent. Thats the most ignorant comment I’ve read in awhile on this site…and there’s a lot to pick from

    • RedsLoveChild

      Griffin is averaging 21 PG, 11 RPG, 53% FG for his career.

      I wish we had guys this “untalented”!

      • Larry Legend

        Seriously who is this clown Nick? Yeah the” refs are under the illusion that Blake Griffin is talented”…get a life bro. You can’t write either. Please stop. It’s embarrassing

        • Larry Legend

          21 and 11 but yeah you’re right nick he sucks….

        • RedsLoveChild

          Ever see anyone at 6`10″ who was as quick, or had the athleticism of Griffin?

          He`s a freak!

        • Nick Sannicandro

          Try me tough guy. Where are your insightful articles? Oh thats right

      • Nick Sannicandro

        He has zero post game and hes.made no effort at.devdloping one. He isnt a great defender as well. So he dunks and grabs boards. Dossnt make him elite like we are made to think. To me hes an average pf with hops

        • Larry Legend

          Insightful articles?! Bahahaha!!! Yeah you’re right nick “insightful” definitely describes your work….And are you seriously asking me to “Try you”? Like I said get a life bro. I won’t stoop your level…whether you think griffin is elite or not is fine, but to say his talent is an illusion is the equivalent of me saying you’re a talented writer. And we both know that ain’t the case.

        • Celticsfanatic

          He’s improved as a low post defender, now above average. His jump shot has also improved to the point where it’s above average and his post game IS growing. He is an elite finisher, and I never got the argument from fans like you who feel doing an up and under makes a player any better than if he just dunked it. There are plenty of guys in the NBA who can dunk just as good as Blake if not better. They are not averaging 21 and 11 on a contender.

  • CPUFC

    Get the hell outta town Doc, nobody wants you anymore. You always shift the blame for your own crappy coaching.

    • Dave

      Actually, Doc has called himself out for not being able to reach these guys, and effectively game plan night after night.

  • adam

    is phil jackson still available? jk jk jk.

  • Celticsfanatic

    I seriously disagree man, although the article had some good points. I think it’s a very real possibility guys like Jason Terry — who seem to want to fast forward to game 7 of the ECFs and drain clutch threes — have tuned out Doc. However I see Rondo putting in more effort lately than ever. Pierce may just be old, and I see no lesser effort on his part aside from what may just be more tired, slower legs.

  • nyceltic

    The team clearly lacks the inner fire to win consistantly.

  • Me

    Trade Brandon Bass For Timofey Mozgov + Anthony Randolph

    Add Collins Or Picks Or Cash

    Let Kevin Garnett Rest For A Couple Of Days

    ————————————————————

    Sign A Small Forward Any Of These Names

    Shawne Williams, 6’9’, (soon to be) 27 yrs old
    Shelden Williams, 6’9’, 29 yrs old

    Josh Childress, 6’8″, (soon to be) 30 yrs old

    DJ White, 6’9’, 26 yrs old

    James Mays, 6’9’, (soon to be) 27 yrs old

    Rick Jackson, 6’9’, (soon to be) 24 yrs old

    Tyler Wilkerson, 6’8’, 25 yrs old

    Luke Harangody (former Celtic), 6’8’, 25 yrs old

    Chris Wright (Maine), 6’8’, 24 yrs old
    DaJuan Summers (Maine), 6’8’, 25 yrs old

    Arinze Onuaku, 6’9’, 25 yrs old

    Tracy McGrady, 6’8″, (soon to be) 34 yrs old

    Kris Joseph

    Jamario Moon

    ————————————–

    (Let Pierce Rest)

    Starters:

    Point Guard – Rondo

    Shooting Guard – Bradley

    Small Forward – Green

    Power Forward – Sully (Let KG Rest)

    Center – Mozgov (7’1 Height)

    Reserves/Back-Ups:

    Point Guard – Terry

    Shooting Guards – Barbosa/Lee

    Small Forward – Any Sign Free Agents (Small Forward) / Let Paul Pierce (Rest)

    Power Forward – Wilcox (6’10 Height)

    Center – Randolph (6’11 height)

    Center Back-Up – Collins (Bench Or Give Him 2 or 3 Minutes)

    Center – Fab Melo For Rotation (Let’s Try Him)

    Good? Or Bad?