Doc Rivers' Days Are Numbered in Boston

Nick Gelso@CLNS_NickCorrespondent IApril 2, 2010

BOSTON - MARCH 31:  Head coach Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics calls a time out in the first quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 31, 2010 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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After leading the Boston Celtics to the NBA championship two season's ago and overcoming injuries to key players last season, Doc Rivers' day's on the Boston bench may be limited.

It seems as if the coach of the 2010 Celtics has swayed in and out of control over his team as often as the Celtics have shifted from mediocre to championship potential and back to mediocre.

Some of the Celtics' greatest attributes over the last several season's have come into question as the playoffs approach.

Intensity, heart, focus, and chemistry are the hallmarks of a championship squad. Though the Celtics have been successful and certainly possessed all of the above from 2007-2009, they have had each of those attributes questioned in 2010.

Though a coach cannot force a player to have heart, he can use positive manipulation to pull it out of them. As far as intensity, focus, and chemistry are concerned—the coach has a direct influence on those areas.

So...has Doc Rivers' out lived he usefulness with this team?

Not so sure.

What I am sure of is that as each season has transitioned to the next, the Celtics' core unit has remained intact, but their personalities have changed.

The boy's are now men and the men are now OLD men.

The big three have undoubtedly struggled with their changing roles as father time is catching up. In the meantime, the youthful duo of Rondo and Perkins are ready to take over and Glen Davis is anxious to get a more substantial role with the team.

The young-trio have embraced their role's with this squad and the big three have diminished rapidly and (at least) a season ahead of schedule.

Thursday night, as the clock struck 10 pm, the Red's Army weekly internet radio show shifted from the live broadcast to the podcast portion. Forsberg rounded out his five causes for concern for this team. As the show was winding down, John and Chuck went to one last caller.

The caller insisted that Danny Ainge needs to "blow-up" this team if they do not win a championship.

While John tried to rationalize with the caller and convey to him that cap space will make re-booting this team nearly impossible, my mind shifted to the possibility that Danny, unable to make major roster changes, may look to re-boot the coaching staff.

That, coupled with the intensifying rumors that Tom Thibodeau may be interested in the Boston College job, got me really thinking that without Thibs, Doc becomes even more disposable.

It seems to me that the culture that once elevated the Celtics to the championship is now  weighing them down.

The memory of banner 17 being hoisted to the rafters is haunting this team and an ever-constant reminder of how far they have fallen from greatness.

Doc Rivers keeps reiterating that this is not 2008, yet he continues to employ the same strategies that were successful in 2008. The philosophies that built the 2008 championship were just that—built for 2008.

It is nearly three year's later and we are still harping about team defense, rotations, movement, transition defense, and ubuntu.

Truth be told, those ideals are necessary, but as the Celtics have gotten older and as the game revolves less around the big three, they refuse to accept a different role and their coach refuses to define one for them.

The players are confused and so are the fans. Plain and simple. What are this team's strong points?

The hallmarks of this team that have now come into question are emotional contributions.

The Celtics frequent lackluster style of play are indicative of a team lacking each of those qualities on a consistent basis.

So, if the Celtics have been unable to draw those qualities from within and their coach can no longer motivate them to do so, than what hope do we have for banner 18?

That is yet to be determined, but if Doc cannot draw the emotional qualities that led this team to dominance while defining new roles for the players that got them there, it is not unlikely that a new commander in chief will be leading the C's into battle next season.


Tim Donaghy is scheduled to appear on the Celtics Late Night Show on Monday, May 10th!


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