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.
Doc Rivers is off on a golf course somewhere, pondering his future with the Celtics and asking for time to think.
But that hasn’t stopped the Celtics coach from taking regular part in the team’s plans for next year, according to president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.
“I talk to Doc all of the time, and we’re talking about our plans for next year,” said Ainge, who left yesterday for Chicago to attend the NBA’s pre-draft combine.
[...] “I only expect Doc to say something to me if he is not coming back,” Ainge said.
Let’s wildly and irresponsibly read into that, shall we??
OH MY GAWD!! THAT’S GOTTA MEAN THAT PIERCE AND GARNETT ARE COMING BACK CUZ THERE’S NO WAY DOC RETURNS WITHOUT ‘EM!!!
Actually, I never expected Doc to leave. And while there’s a chance he still might, I still see him coming back. He’s not Phil Jackson, he’s not afraid to coach a team that’s not immediately regarded as a contender.
The schedule for an NBA coach is a grueling one. You never sleep, you barely get any time off during the season, everyone’s bitching at you about something… most people probably couldn’t finish a contract. So the need for Doc to get away, and do it earlier than usual, is understandable. So while the season was disappointing, the silver lining is that he gets to go home to his wife and kids and be a real family for a few extra weeks. All that golf he’s playing probably doesn’t hurt either.
I’m pretty sure if you found a member of the Rivers family, they’ll tell you that he’s sneaking in some Celtics homework there somewhere.
Elsewhere, Brandon Bass is giving himself plenty of homework for the summer:
“I think everybody likes to see highlights of themselves,” said Bass, who made it clear that he plans to pay close attention to what he did not do well this past season. “For me, being that I am a worker, that’s what I do. I dedicate my life to the game in the summer. So I have to watch my mistakes and improve on them.”
The year didn’t start out well for Bass. He was caught up in the same uncertainty that bogged down the whole team to start the year. I think this upcoming season will be better simply because Bass knows he might be coming off the bench. Say what you want, but knowing it ahead of time can really help ease the sting when it actually happens.
I do think some of this is in Bass’ head. He turned it on down the stretch, finally playing up to his potential in April. He and Garnett were pretty much the only reasons the Celtics didn’t get swept by the Knicks. So Bass can definitely play a role here.
IF… he’s still a Celtic next season. There’s no denying the potential for him to get moved this summer. We’ll explore that more tomorrow in our “What do we do with…?” series (Avery Bradley is up next later this afternoon). But assuming he is, the Celtics will need him to play up to the potential they saw in him when they gave him his contract.
No matter who does or doesn’t come back, the Celtics will still need contributions from everyone. There is no room for error in this team. There won’t be for a while.
The rest of the links:
One last note: Don’t believe any rumors popping up about Paul Pierce. Nothing has happened with him. This is the time of year where fake Twitter and Facebook pages will pop up with false reports. If you see something and we don’t have it up, it’s not true.