Despite Boston Celtics Loss to Washington Wizards, I Still Like This Team

Loscy LoscyContributor IApril 10, 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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Nobody beats the Wiz…Nobody.


While my life seems somewhat more fulfilled because I have been able to tie in a Seinfeld reference to his irreverent blog, it’s an unfortunate time to have this experience. Coming off the heels of a silly loss to the super-sad Knickerbockers, the Celts played a solid game against the Bosh-less Raptors only to drop this last game against the Wizards.

Looking at last night’s box score, the starters shot as disgustingly as it looked on TV:


Between KG, Pierce, and Ray Ray, they put up a combined for 11 out of 35. In mathematical talk, that translates to NOT GOOD.

While I want to just fully erase this game from my memory, I’m not entirely sure it will be possible.

With only three games left on the schedule and a week before the playoffs, this loss is a bit unsettling. While the defensive intensity was a bit lackluster in the NYK game, at least they came to play in the fourth—kind of.

Last night, though, was just ugly.

I still like this team. I like their make-up. I like their offense that they try to run. I like their defense that they try to run.

I like their philosophy. I like that this team is gritty. I like that the core of this team has already been in the playoffs. I like that the core of this team has already won a title.

I like that this team has age (maybe too much of it) infused with some unbridled youth. I like the trade we made with Nate-Rob coming into town. I like that Shelden has been such a high value for this team’s bench.

I like that Glen Davis is turning a corner. I like that Finley has fit in seamlessly. I like that Tony Allen is playing the best ball of his career and being rewarded with a spot in the rotation for the playoffs.

I like our starting five and the way they trust and play with each other. I like that Rondo is being given more opportunities to create instead of leaving the ball in the dribbling-happy hands of Pierce and Ray.

I like that this team has shown flashes of brilliance (first three quarters of the CLV game, anyone?) despite its inability to play through an entire game. I like our coach.

I still really like this team. I cannot assert myself into the psyches of the players, but I am imploring Doc to.

Look, this isn’t a jab into the coach. What I appreciate the most about Doc is that he is a player’s coach. He listens to his players unlike other coaches that say they listen to players but don’t—think about how many last second plays are drawn up for guys that the team wants to take the final shot.

Doc has the humility to defer to his players in the heat of a moment when the game is on the line; this is the very definition of a player’s coach.

In last night’s post-game PC , Doc took the blame for the loss against the Wiz. Doc gave the guys a day off from practice yesterday and canceled the shoot-around prior to last night’s tip off. Doc says he took the rhythm right from them.

While that may have thrown off some timing, this team is too good to let a struggling team like the Wizards walk all over them. Canceling a practice and a shoot-around doesn’t make you look like you don’t give a crap while playing on the floor.

There’s just never any excuse for that.

I know that Doc is loyal to his rotation: Whatever he has in mind, he is going with. Doc is loyal to his starters. Doc is a headstrong coach with some headstrong players to manage.

But he’s got a week to fix the issues of energy and effort before the playoffs. Perhaps doing nothing and letting the players figure it out for themselves will be the right call. Maybe a state of the union will be the trick. Perhaps a mix of both strategies.

Whatever it is, I do feel bad for Doc.

Doc’s handling of the rotations will be under scrutiny by us all during the playoffs. If the Celtics can win, we won’t give credit to Doc, but instead the players. If the Celtics lose, we’ll pound Doc away with a massive sledgehammer. It’s a terrible position to be in.

My suggestion then, if you’re reading this Doc, is to make sure the team wins. Find a way, please.


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