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Your Morning Dump… Where it’s reunion week and Doc Rivers has a lot to say

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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.

Now that the debris from Danny Ainge’s demolition project has settled, fences have to be mended. That even applies to members of the late, great 2008 NBA champions.

Doc Rivers is willing to mediate the fractured bond between Ray Allen and his basketball brothers who still refuse to talk to him, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

“The Ray/Paul/Kevin thing will be fixed,” Rivers told the Herald of his new lease on life after the Clippers finished their morning shootaround yesterday in Cleveland. “You forgive. Ray had to make a decision for himself. I was upset about it at the time, but he did so many good things for our team. So it will be fixed. If I have to get involved in it myself, I will, though I hope not.”

Rivers is trying hard to focus on the Clippers’ more immediate games, including Cleveland last night and Philadelphia on Monday.

But by Tuesday he’ll be in Boston. He’ll walk back onto the Garden floor Wednesday night, and for many in the crowd, repairs will be in order there, too.

Rivers still rejects the idea his reception will be mixed — that he will be playing the role of Allen to a resentful crowd of Pierces and Garnetts. He admits that it was time to move on, and that his mental health couldn’t have tolerated another rebuilding process.

But based on return trips to Boston prior to the start of the season, including a large charity event in the Garden last September, Rivers believes he will be accepted. People may express regret that he left, he says, but never with anger.

“For me it will be very emotional and very nice. To be honest, I don’t think it will be that big a deal,” he said. “I really don’t understand how you can look at it any other way. Did I commit a crime or something? When I was there I got good reactions from people. In LA, when I see a Boston fan, they come up and say thank you. Whatever happened, happened.”

Boston Herald - Doc Rivers coming back to visit family

The Celtics will play a matinée game at Madison Square Garden today against the Knicks, kicking off what is a reunion week for them.  You’ve likely seen the quick promos on CSNNE during the C’s games about it.  Even though the C’s and Knicks have a recent playoff rivalry, the real reunion doesn’t begin until they visit the Nets in Brooklyn on Tuesday night.  Paul Pierce won’t play due to a broken hand and the next night, in Boston, former coach Doc Rivers brings his Clippers team to the Garden.  It’s been well documented and discussed a ton, but Doc’s tenure and departure will no doubt be talked about again.  And when it comes to talking, Doc is one of the best and he’s at it again with Mark Murphy of the Herald.

Doc really wants to mend the broken relationship between Ray Allen and KG/Pierce.  That seems to be a top item on his agenda at some point.  But the big topic here is how he feels about two things: 1) if he’ll get booed by the fans at the Garden and 2) his decision to leave a rebuilding C’s team.  I’ll get to the second concern shortly, but as far as the first, well that is going to be interesting.  I know I’ve gone back and forth on what I will do, and I can’t speak for other fans but just from random, general conversations I’ve had with other fans at the games this year, Doc could very well be in for a rude awakening.  It’s interesting to me that he said most of the negative reaction has been from the media (AHEM, SIMMONS), but their job is to ask those questions.  What does he expect after the soap opera he pulled on his way out?  No wonder LA wanted him so badly, he’s great at the drama.

Look, Doc was a fantastic coach here and I loved him when he was here.  He was a great manager of egos and did a lot of good for the team and the city.  But I just don’t like that he preached “team,” togetherness,” “Ubuntu,” etc and then at the first sign of adversity (rebuilding) he forces his way out.  Nobody wants to go through the pains of losing and rebuilding, especially when you’ve reached basketball nirvana by winning an NBA title.  In Boston.  For the Celtics.  After a 22 year drought.  After you went through a rebuilding period already.  But Doc said it himself in Murphy’s piece that the rebuild wouldn’t be as bad this time around:

Rivers hasn’t watched the Celtics as much. Then again, they’re almost unrecognizable.

“It’s a different group of guys now,” he said. “They still have a ton of talent, especially when (Rajon) Rondo comes back. This is not a true rebuild. I think they’ll be able to turn things back around pretty quickly.”

Rivers’ impression of his replacement, Brad Stevens, is more rudimentary.

“He’ll be a good coach,” he said. “You take me and put me into a college program, and the learning curve would be just as steep.”

So if the Celtics still have “a ton of talent” and you think “they’ll be able to turn things back around pretty quickly” then why exactly would it have been so bad to stay?  Especially now, how you see Pierce and KG struggling so much in Brooklyn and you got all of those picks in the future?  Later on in the piece, he said the players just needed a new voice, etc.  Hey I’m glad things worked out the way that they did because I’m already in basketball love with Brad Stevens.  Doc thinks he’ll be a good coach, but he’s wrong, Stevens is already a good coach and is looking like he could be a great one with what’s he’s already done.

Be ready to be showered with all sorts of memories from the recent past this week of the New Big Three Era.  It’s always emotional to look back but it’s good to know that things are already looking much better in terms of the rebuilding time than the last time it happened.

On Page 2, Paul Pierce has lost his passion

Those close to the Nets intimate that Pierce has lost his passion, still stunned from his departure from Boston and the only team he ever knew, while Garnett is no better than a backup at this stage of his career. Pierce won’t face the Celtics Tuesday night because of a fractured right hand and Terry remains out following offseason knee surgery, leaving Garnett on an island to determine the cause and the solution for the disastrous start.

While the Celtics allowed Garnett to go through his laborious postgame regimen of a deep massage and then get fully dressed before addressing the media, the Nets asked Garnett to speak just moments after another disheartening loss, seemingly the lone voice of reason.

During the demolition by the Knicks, Garnett was vastly outplayed by former Toronto Raptor Andrea Bargnani, who drew an ejection for trash talking Garnett following a jumper in his face. For years, Garnett was the vocal aggressor who backed up words with a smooth jumper. This season, he’s shooting a career-low 37 percent from the field.

Boston Globe - Losing battle so far for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett

All I can say to that is ouch.  Just sad what has happened to P and KG in Brooklyn but it looks like Danny Ainge cashed in at the perfect time.  Even though I’m sure Pierce would rather be in Boston, I find it very difficult to believe he’s lost his passion to play.  Especially after watching him his entire career here, that was one thing about him that was evident every single day.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston - Practice: searching for 48-minute effort | C’s focused on opponent, not standings | Wild-card Crawford becomes C’s ace

Boston Globe - Celtics now truly believe they can win | Celtics not your average first place team | In retrospect, Knicks’ plan had too many flaws (Sunday Notes)

Boston Herald - The Big (bad) Apple

CSNNE - Stevens: Turnovers have ‘become less’ of a problem | Bass emerging as major player for the Celtics | Olynyk remains focused while sidelined

MassLive –  Olynyk ruled out against New York Knicks

MWDN - Residual feelings for holdover Celtics vs. Knicks

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  • pierce Hart

    I’ve never rated Doc as a coach he was always liked by the media etc but I always felt he never got enough out of his team for the caliber of players that he had and now we can see that it was true. Him and his beloved CP3 will fail to do much in the playoffs as ever. Rondo is the kinda playoff guy you want. Not Paul.

    • Duke

      True , Rondo is smarter and way more team-oriented than Paul. They can both produce the same huge numbers , triple doubles and high points, but I think Rondo really knows how to have the biggest impact on big games, and how to get his team into it. Rondo is the genius, calculating every single opportunity to have an impact on the game, being completely team conscious but also being able to be a complete leader. Its quite astounding really , that’s why I’ve said before I wouldn’t trade him for anybody in the league, LJ included. Seriously.

      • pierce Hart

        I think id trade him for Paul George or LeBron but probably no one else. But yeah I agree it’s a bit like pierce and Melo. Melo will always go down as the better player but Pierce was a team guy and added whatever the team needed where as Anthony just does what he always does

        • Duke

          Yeah , I guess I only wanted to say I wouldn’t trade him for James because hell I just don’t like the guy , I got resentment. But that’s subjective, sure I’d take James I guess. I guess. I don’t know maybe Paul George but Rondo may become as good as George. Rondo’s intelligence and his flashes of shooting make me think he’s going to break out. Its my prediction. What do you think about George right now, and what do you predict for George and Rondo’s future?

          • pierce Hart

            I feel like rondos ability will become clearer to everyone as it will be his teams and we’ll be talking about how his grea playoff performances hopefully get us a championship. He will be seen as a top 5 player rather than a guy who benefited from playing with 3 HOF players. That is if he stays and we get a good centre to add to this nice young supporting cast. For George as a SF I feel like he could become something special and I mean better than LeBron a proper winner like Jordan who can lead a team to the promised land he’s got such a dynamic game, a bit like a more athletic Pierce. I see him winning quite a few rings as long as he also has a good supporting cast

        • ian

          In no way shape or form is Carmelo a better player than Paul Pierce. Not ever. At all. Period.
          They are basically a wash when it comes to scoring in their prime yet Paul is way more clutch, a WAY better defender, passer, and about equal when it comes to rebounding.
          Paul is also a better leader.
          Paul Pierce is a top 10 small forward of all time.

    • Curt Hays

      Thank you for this. I agreed with everything Jay said except that Doc was a great coach. Brad Stevens is a great coach.

  • #IAMACELTIC

    Well I hope he get a bad reaction from the crowd. I’m still pissed about the way he left, so I have no love for Doc Rivers!

  • Micah Malloy

    What if it’s not Pierce and Garnett losing a step but rather a loss of passion due to a team that is terribly coached. When they were here it was a team of guys that actually liked and cared about each other but now they are just assassins for hire. I’m not saying that we should have kept them but I believe that would be playing better if they were still in Boston.

    • Kelvin

      Agree. I’m sure Pierce regrets talking Garnett into waiving his no-trade clause. It’s clear PP/KG are past their prime. The older both get the more they regress, but if u know basketball it’s clear Pierce/KG shouldn’t be in BK. In Boston, Pierce and Garnett played within a system. A Doc Rivers system.

      In Brooklyn, both KG and PP look lost. Neither have showed flashes of what they were last season, and age isn’t really to blame. I think it’s the poor coaching by the Nets rookie head coach; by the way the hiring of a rookie coach was a poor move by Nets management. Why on earth hire a rookie coach to coach a veteran team with a one yr window?

      The Nets are struggling because of injuries and inexperience coaching. The Nets don’t play within a system like good NBA teams do. As for Doc, I’m over his departure. He’s gone and that’s it.

  • CFH

    If the Nets think Pierce has lost his passion, that’s further proof of how incompetent the Nets are. Sure, PP wanted to stay in Boston but he also wanted to skip the rebuild and win another ring. He loves to play and has been clear about wanting to play as long as possible, possibly even in Europe for a few years.

    What a mess. Because it can’t be said enough, Pierce and Garnett deserve better. I swallowed the trade because I thought they were going somewhere that would use them correctly all the way to a great season.

    Hard to get worked up about Doc when we have such a nice replacement.

    • GreenTreme

      Exactly true. The Nets were getting two aging superstars at the very end of their careers. If they we’re expecting prime Garnett or Pierce, then the Nets are dumber than I thought. Both are KG/PP are getting older and no longer capable of caring a team by themselves.

      I was disappointed to see KG/PP go, but understood Danny Ainge’s decision to move on and rebuild. It made no sense for KG/PP to say especially with the C’s not having enough money to upgrade the roster. The Nets struggles go beyond KG/PP.

      Nets were stupid to hire a rookie coach, to coach a veteran roster with a one or two year window. The Nets were delusional to expect more out of an aging Pierce and Garnett. Get ya money KG/PP.

  • Nathan

    If i’m the nets i sit KG (easier said than done, i dont know how
    could you ever talk him into that). But hes not winning you games right
    now so why not rest him and try to get the most out of him with Brooke,
    D-Will and Kirilenko and try and make as much noise as possible in the playoffs. I cant help but root for the nets and i really wanna see them win some games.

    • Mark Segal

      Garnett is not the reason the Nets are losing games. Can he play better, sure. But at some point the Nets organization had to expect a drop off or regression in his play. KG is 37, not 27. There’s a plethora of reasons why the Nets are losing. For one, hiring a rookie coach is a start. Why hire a rookie coach to manage a veteran roster with year or 2 window? Makes no sense. And the Nets roster has been depleted due to injuries.

      I do think Kirilenko should start over Pierce. I think Kirilenko gives the Nets youth, speed and depth at the small forward spot. Pierce at this stage is slower and can’t close out fast enough. But Kidd isn’t too bright to see that idea.

  • swissflix

    You know, the way this season is turning out to be, i really don’t think about Doc, and Paul and KG anymore. I loved them, they were perfect together at that time and KG is my absolute all time favorite player. BUT: things look bright with Stevens as a coach, with a young team competing most nights and some interesting decisions ahead by Danny Ainge. Unlike last season there is hope now.

  • http://www.thegainescollective.com/ Kendra Gaines

    When are we going to discuss the fact that the Clippers had a better record with VDN? Fraud.

    • Mark Segal

      True, but in fairness the Clippers are dealing with injuries to Barnes and Reddick. Though I still have some questions about the Clippers front-court depth.

  • Duke

    Okay , so lets find Doc’s impact. I started watching in 2005 when I was playing basketball in middle school. I’m 21 now. He seemed to have a determined fiery presence, I really thought they’re defense was becoming good even in 2007. 2008, what a year. See, when Doc was the master to focus the all star cast we had, and push the role players to stepping up, play an iron curtain D , he really was the best in the game for it. We’ve really switched gears this year, a completely different need. It couldve, maybe even shouldve started last year. The flip side to Doc’s fire is that once we werent at the top of talent his fire became less focusing and more grating. Stressful. Unmotivating , you could see it in the players except for Pierce and KG. Doc had already decided he had no patience for growth years back. He also just could not add anything to his coaching apart from what he already knew. People jumped on Green, Bradley, any player not developing not showing out in the same way Doc jumped on his players. What a stifling environment. Thank god its completely changed. Danny thank you for being so damn smart.

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  • Rich Jensen

    Why boo Rivers? The C’s got a massive upgrade at coach because Rivers didn’t want another rebuild.

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  • ian

    sign Paul to a one year contract at the end of the season and let him end his carrer where hes supposed to

  • Luke Walton

    I got one thing to say about Doc. F him. I’ll take brad stevens and this roster over last year’s roster any day. Doc doesn’t know how to coach young teams.

  • bill_nair

    I’m thankful Doc was the one who coached us to that 2008 chip. With that said he quit on this team. Cant blame him, he got a bigger position and a superstar in LA (things every coach wants.) I just wish he would shut his mouth and stop going on about Boston. He seems to be trying to win over the fans who feel he quit on us. Be happy with your LA fans Doc.

    I thought this could happen with Paul. I’m sure a poor start has everyone in Brooklyn walking around with their heads down but when u take into account Paul left for a chance at a ring and his former team is performing better, its gotta hurt. How do you think we would be with Paul still on the team coming off the bench?

  • bill_nair

    I could see KG never patching things up with Doc and Ray. I always felt it was Pierce and KGs relationship that made everything work in Boston for as long as it did (not to take anything away from Doc and Ray’s role in banner 18)

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