The Boston Celtics and Doc Rivers have performed well to date in the young NBA season.
While they haven’t been blowing teams out, they are stringing together solid, continuous efforts, and that’s what they need to be to doing.
Still, there have been some downs to go along with all the ups. Injuries have hit the team hard. Jermaine O’Neal and Delonte West are out, while Kendrick Perkins continues to rehab from knee surgery. If anyone else goes down for an extended period of the time, the Celtics won’t be able to dress a full 12-team lineup.
So, Celtics coach Doc Rivers needs to continue to rally the troops in order for them to keep the wins coming. Here are some tactics Doc can employ to keep the team at a high level.
When Shaquille O’Neal missed practice earlier in the week, Doc could have made a stink by fining or criticizing him, but all was quiet.
Shaq admitted his mistake and owned up to it.
This is a veteran team, so Doc doesn’t need to make an example out of everyone. There’s no need to any extra tension off the court, so by moving past incidents like this, the Celtics, based off their character, will respond accordingly.
The Celtic bench has really started to play well of late.
Nate Robinson earned some valuable PT when Rondo was out last week, responding with 22 and 16 points in his first two games. The latter of which saw him dish out 10 assists.
Marquis Daniels has been putting forth a solid effort recently, too. He may not score or light up the box score, but his minutes are on the rise due to his solid defense and terrific ability to drive the lane.
Big Baby and Semih Erden have been consistent in their allotted time slots, though Semih’s floor time has bounced around a bit of late. Doc said on WEEI yesterday that Semih is not playing at 100 percent.
Delonte West’s injury may eventually open the door for one of the “Little Three” to play. I’m talking about Luke Harangody, Avery Bradley and Von Wafer, of course.
Getting the bench involved will keep everyone on the entire team sharp and ready to contribute the moment they are called upon.
The Celtics lead the league in assists per basket, meaning when they score from the floor they are more likely than any other team to have it be from a pass. Of course, when Rondo is on the floor, the number jumps up even higher.
Doc needs to continue to emphasize this style of play as it has rewarded the Celtics with one of the best records in the East.
At one point during the Celtics game versus the Blazers on Wednesday, Rajon Rondo lost his shoe. Rondo would have had a fast break layup, but couldn’t run properly. The play resulted in a turnover and LaMarcus Aldridge getting to the line at the other end.
Rondo was wearing special shoes to commemorate World Aids Day, but no matter the occasion, you can’t lose your shoes if they’re hi-tops.
More and more I’ve been noticing Lawrence Frank being more vocal on the sidelines. He spends a lot
of time working one on one with players as well.
From all indications, Coach Frank knows what he’s doing. Perceived as a defensive-minded coach, he
needs is succeeding as the Celtics rank in the top 10 in most major defensive categories.
This is a play on the movie Dodgeball, so don’t take it literally.
The concept of team building off the court is an important one, so take the boys out to the shooting range or to the ballet or something. I don’t know, as long as Semih gets to join in.
Ray Allen was 2-for-11 from the floor before icing Wednesday’s game with a dead-eye three, sealing the Celtics victory.
Doc just needs to keep his guys up when they are down. Don’t let them lose confidence and telling to keep hoisting up smart shots.
I’m not worried about reforming Shaq’s ways at the free throw line at this point in his career (though I don’t know he doesn’t shoot a rainbow).
But Rondo needs to figure out how to score from the line and Doc needs to help him. Rondo is shooting 44 percent from the line. I guaranteed you if I played for the Celtics… never mind. Anyway, Rondo leaves too many points at the charity stripe and if he wants to be a superstar he needs to Doc help him figure it out.
If all else fails and the Celtics start an unlikely downward spiral, Doc needs to ask local legends Bill Russell and Bill Belichick for help.
Bring them to give the team a pep talk. If you need help winning, there are no two better people in Boston than these two to help.
Given this one really isn’t a tactic Doc can employ, it’s more of a condition of the team playing well and Doc and his crew coaching well.
At 14-4, the Celtics have put together a very healthy record, mimicking their fast start last year.
As the season wears on, team management will be the biggest concern in order for the Celtics to keep putting up W’s in the standings. It will be a balancing act, but all signs are pointing towards the right direction.