Tag:Doc Rivers
Posted on: January 16, 2012 11:21 am
  •  
 

Perkins says playing Celtics will still be hard



By Matt Moore


The Kendrick Perkins trade is winding up like that break-up that people never recover from for both the Celtics and Perkins. This is like "The Notebook" at this point, and Ryan Gosling is Perkins. Enjoy that image. The truth is, both the Celtics and Perkins continue to seem hurt by how the entire thing went down last February when Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers decided that Perkins' price tag in free agency would have been too high and elected to move him for Jeff Green. The move broke up a team that famously had never lost a playoff series with the starting lineup of Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Perkins healthy and active. 

And from a feature Sports Illustrated did with Perkins on his return to Beantown Monday, you can tell that the whole experience still sticks with Perkins, despite the fact that he played in the Western Conference Playoffs with the Thunder last year.  
"I'm kind of nervous," Perkins said. "I don't know what to expect. It's not like I have been around the league. I came there as an 18-year-old out of high school and was a Celtic for eight years. We went through the good times, the bad times, and the city really embraced me. I got close to a lot of people in that city and it was really hard to leave.

"Going back for the first time, I don't know what to expect. My approach is I want to win the game, but at the same time it is kind of hard with so many friends on the other side. Can I really be Perk out there? Can I really play my style? [Kevin Garnett] is my mentor. Ray [Allen] and Paul [Pierce] are my friends. Doc, we have a father-son relationship. [Rajon] Rondo, we talk every day. It's going to be hard."
via Thunder center Kendrick Perkins nervously awaits return to Boston - Chris Mannix - SI.com.

It's got to be hard. Leaving people you care about is always hard. 

But... Perkins is with the Thunder now. He's got a legitimate shot at a championship. And if that happens, it should be just as special as it would have been with the Celtics (not as special as the first one he won, nothing's as special as the first). Perkins needs to let Boston go. He's likely going to play for more teams in his career and he may never get back to Boston. It was special, something to remember, to treasure. His relationship with those guys goes beyond basketball and in the offseason he can hang out with them as much as he wants. 

But Monday, it's time to block all that out and go hard. He has a professional obligation to the Thunder. His teammates are counting on him. There's a point where he just has to put his personal feelings aside and go compete. Kevin Garnett went after the Timberwolves in his first trip back as hard as you'll ever see him, popping his jersey and jawing at the same teammates who he played alongside for years. That's the reality of professional sports, as hard as that is. 

The Celtics' run with Perkins is very much over. But the Thunder believe in him. It's time he gave them the same committment mentally... and emotionally. 
Posted on: November 18, 2011 10:42 am
 

Doc Rivers misses his guys

By Matt Moore 

Doc Rivers was considering hanging it up, being with his family, going to a lot of Duke games, and taking it easy. But instead, he came back, immediately after the Celtics lost to the Heat in the playoffs, returning for another stretch with Boston to make one last run with the core. 

Or not.

Rivers isn't locked out, but his players are. He's a general without his troops, and it's been difficult for him to deal with it, especially considering how close Rivers is to this particular group of guys. From the Boston Herald: 
"It’s like I was telling Danny Ainge,” he said. “The blessing of this is that I’m nowhere near ready to not do this. I miss it. So there’s some good things to this too.”

The lack of contact with his players is probably the oddest aspect of the NBA lockout for Rivers, as evidenced by his chance encounter with Ray Allen during a recent golf tournament in Florida. Player and coach, walking in opposite directions, shook hands and kept moving.

“That was strange, really strange,” he said. “We walked by each other, so you could shake hands, but you couldn’t say much to each other. Just the way it is, but I miss it. I miss being around them – all of them."
via BostonHerald.com - Blogs: Celtics Insider» Blog Archive » Rivers anxious to return from the lockout vacuum.

The lockout is ridiculous from any angle, and this is another. Two people who won a championship together, who would bleed for one another can't talk at a golf tournament. This, my friends, is sheer idiocy.

But it's how it is. And if this thing plays out like it looks it will at this particular moment in time, Rivers may miss out on his last opportunity to make a run with this group of guys he believes in so much.

The damage of the lockout goes so much deeper than just owner and player money.  
Posted on: September 23, 2011 1:29 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2011 3:11 pm
 

7 lost stories from canceled NBA preseason

Posted by Ben Golliver

silver-stern-2

On Friday, CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reported the dreadful news that we've all been fearing: the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have failed to reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in time, meaning training camp and portions of the preseason schedule have been indefinitely postponed and/or canceled.

Preseason is always a fun time of the NBA calendar, guaranteed to be chockfull of "Player X added 15 pounds of muscle" and "Lottery team Y finally seems poised for a playoff push" stories. Of course, no preseason means no preseason stories. No hype, no hope. More Adam Silver, more David Stern. What a bummer. 

So here's a rundown of seven stories you would have been reading had the NBA and the NBPA gotten their collective act together in time to save the schedule. These stories are lost everywhere, except for here.

1. Security Detains Eddy Curry Outside AmericanAirlines Arena

MIAMI -- It appears that Eddy Curry will not be joining the Miami Heat after all.

Following nearly a year of reports indicating that Curry had lost an NBA-record 468 pounds since he was released by the Minnesota Timberwolves at least year's trade deadline, the free agent center was forcibly removed from AmericanAirlines Arena property by a cadre of four security guards on Tuesday. The use of force was deemed necessary after direct requests to leave from Heat president Pat Riley and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra were not heeded. 

"We didn't want to do it but we really had no choice," said Joseph Watkins, the guard assigned to carry Curry's left leg. "I was just following orders."

"What can I say? I got my hopes up," Curry explained. "I kept reading over and over that Miami was interested in me and I thought I could help LeBron [James] win a ring finally. I thought they would change their mind if I showed I was determined. I guess they wanted to go a different direction."

After the trimmed-down center had been dragged to an auxiliary parking lot, Riley briefly asked a reporter who Curry was before returning to the Heat's training session, which was closed to the media. When practice broke, Spoelstra indicated that the defending Eastern Conference champions were comfortable with their center rotation of Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Dexter Pittman, Juwan Howard, Chris Webber, and Bill Wennington, and are not in the market for another big man.

"We like our guys," Spoelstra said.

Curry told the Associated Press that he isn't sure when or where his next basketball opportunity will come but did indicate that he would like to have the plastic handcuffs removed from his wrists, or at least loosened, as soon as possible.

2. Bloody Prank Signals Rift Between Thunder Stars?

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- A severed head was discovered inside a backpack belonging to Kevin Durant on Friday.

The Thunder's All-Star forward pulled the ghoulish, plastic mask -- which bore an uncanny resemblance to coach Scottie Brooks and had been doused in ketchup to simulate the appearance of blood -- out of his signature carry-all following an evening workout. With a look of bewilderment, Durant tossed the mask into a nearby trash can before returning to the team's practice court to work on his free throw shooting.

"I'm just out here trying to get better," Durant said, shrugging off his unsettling discovery.

It's not yet known who placed the mask in Durant's backpack, although suspicion was immediately cast upon Russell Westbrook. The mercurial guard led the NBA in postseason technical fouls in 201, rarely passes the ball because he's so self-involved and sometimes has a "funny look" -- according to multiple teammates -- in his eyes. Center Kendrick Perkins apparently implicated Westbrook in the incident when he stormed out of the practice facility, repeatedly yelling the words, "I told y'all! I told y'all!" 

The incident raises anew the question of whether Oklahoma City's two All-Stars will be capable of coexisting as their careers and games develop.

"Halloween is Monday," Westbrook said, cryptically, before rushing a free-throw extended jump shot and completely hurdling teammate Eric Maynor to claim the offensive rebound.

Thunder president Sam Presti did not offer an alibi for himself, but what else is new?

3. Rivers: More Needed From Rondo For Green To Succeed

BOSTON -- Nine months after the most controversial trade in recent Boston Celtics history, coach Doc Rivers continued to defend forward Jeff Green from media criticism.

A lightly sprained ankle for starting center Jermaine O'Neal caused local sports talk radio hosts and callers to go into hysterics on Monday, rehashing the ill-fated swap that brought Green to Boston in exchange for starting center Kendrick Perkins, who was sent to Oklahoma City.

"Jeff is still getting acclimated, and [president] Danny [Ainge] and I still believe he will be a key piece for us," Rivers said.

During the portion of practice open to the media, Green dribbled the ball off of his foot, missed three three-pointers, was late on two defensive assignments and appeared to frustrate aging forward Kevin Garnett, who was seen shaking his head sadly rather than barking instructions like usual.

When pressed, Rivers said that the eventual solution to what he called Green's "learning curve issues" will have to come from All-Star starting point guard Rajon Rondo.

"Rondo gets him wide open jumpers, wide open lay-ups, makes 10 plays a game defensively, and he leads by example," Rivers said. "But I have eyes, you have eyes. You can see it. It's clearly not enough. We're looking for Rondo to keep leading and to do even more, to carry all of us. [But] especially Jeff."

Pausing for a moment, Rivers, to the surprise of the media present, chose to vividly underscore his previous point.

"I don't care if Rondo dislocates both of his elbows at the same time so his arms are hanging off of his body backwards, he will need to carry Jeff."

Asked to respond to Rivers' comments, Rondo stared ahead blankly, as always.

4. Greg Oden No-Shows At Day One Of Blazers Camp

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Once again, the gym is full of NBA players and hopefuls.  Once again, the biggest one among them is missing.

The Portland Trail Blazers opened training camp to the media for the first time on Monday, only to reveal that center Greg Oden, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, was nowhere to be found. Oden, who signed a 5-year, $70 million extension during the early-October free agency period, has played just 82 games in his 4-year NBA career and has rarely been available to the media since suffering his most recent in Nov. 2010.

Through a spokesperson, Blazers president Larry Miller refused to comment about Oden's status, leaving new GM Brandon Roy -- who was promoted to the position after Miller used the amnesty clause to rid the Blazers of the four years remaining on his contract -- to face the media scrutiny alone. Roy said the team would not rush its center back to the court, noting that Oden's recovery from microfracture knee surgery was still "on schedule," although he did not divulge further specifics.

Blazers coach Nate McMillan looked irritated by the questions. "I've got 18 guys here fighting hard to grab one of our roster spots, let's talk about them," McMillan said.

Mike Conley, Sr., Oden's agent, offered a possible explanation by email. "Rehabilitation has kept Greg off the court for almost a year. During that time, in addition to completing a multi-disciplinary strength and flexibility training program, Greg has worked hard on improving and honing his invisibility. I'm pleased to hear that his work has evidently paid off. How many 7-footers do you know that can literally disappear in the blink of an eye? We feel this will make him even more valuable in the years to come."

Oden's whereabouts are not currently known at this time. His status for Portland's season opener is also up in the air.

"We'll just have to see," said McMillan.

Or not.

5. Kings Guard Completes First Pass

SACRAMENTO -- Kings coach Paul Westphal couldn't help but beam. After all, he had just witnessed an important milestone for his young team.

"I've been preaching unselfishness and ball movement all week and it was great to finally see these guys take that message to heart and execute it," Westphal said, his shirt soaked with sweat.

After back-to-back-back two-a-day practices and a morning session that yielded no progress, Jimmer Fredette became the team's first guard to complete a pass during scrimmage play on Thursday night. Prior to the pass, Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, John Salmons and free agent signing Jamal Crawford had each managed to take a shot, draw a foul or commit a turnover on all of their possessions. Meanwhile, rookie point guard Isaiah Thomas, arguably the team's best playmaker on paper, left the practice facility on Tuesday after being frozen out for 263 straight trips up the court and hasn't been heard from since. A team official assured CBSSports.com that the organization is "not alarmed."

Fredette's pass occurred when he inadvertently took the ball out of bounds following a made basket by Evans. Looking confused, and with no other option other than committing a five-second violation, Fredette reluctantly inbounded the ball to Thornton, who promptly dribbled coast-to-coast, only to have his running lay-up attempt swatted out of bounds by center DeMarcus Cousins. Westphal shouted encouragement -- "That's what I'm talking about!" -- and blew his whistle, briefly stopping practice to single out Fredette for praise.

"It was nothing, really," Fredette said, afterwards, looking a touch sheepish.

6. Adelman Closes Practices To Timberwolves Executives

MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- Two hours after a minor shouting match erupted between Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman and president David Kahn on Monday, the two men pledged publicly that they had put the matter behind them.

"Direct communication is integral to creating a winning atmosphere," Kahn told a group of reporters on Monday afternoon. "Rick and I exchanged ideas, as we often do, and we were able to come to a resolution that is amenable to both parties. We thank you for your interest but this matter has been resolved. We look forward to a successful year."

The dispute, two league sources said, began when Adelman chided Kahn for openly cheering for rookie point guard Ricky Rubio, while wearing a Rubio jersey, in front of the entire team. That exchange escalated when Adelman decided to play veteran Luke Ridnour with the starting unit, instead of Rubio, prompting Kahn to yell loudly, "Come on!" 

According to the sources, Adelman then threatened to quit on the spot, issuing a "you go or I go" ultimatum just weeks after formally accepting the position and signing a 4-year contract.

"This is my team and I make the coaching decisions," Adelman told reporters bluntly after practice. "That's it. Any other questions?"

The resolution, according to sources, will keep Kahn and other team executives off the practice court for the rest of training camp, although indications are that Kahn and Adelman have agreed to revisit the matter once the regular season begins.

Rubio, who competed for the Spanish national team at this summer's EuroBasket tournament, finished Monday's scrimmage with 0 points and two assists in 37 minutes.

7. Thibodeau Thanks Fans, Admits They Could Be Right

CHICAGO -- The Bulls held an intra-squad scrimmage at the United Center on Friday, allowing fans and season ticket holders the rare opportunity to watch the team go through its paces free of charge.

NBA MVP Derrick Rose drew the loudest cheers and the longest line of pre-game admirers, Luol Deng pledged $10,000 to charity at halftime, and new free agent signing J.R. Smith, who bought his own way out of a one-year contract he signed to play in China, autographed a diehard fan's neck with a tattoo gun. But the clear highlight of the festivities came when the NBA's reigning Coach of the Year, Tom Thibodeau, took a microphone at center court just before tipoff to thank Bulls fans for their loyal support during the team's run to the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals.

"You guys are the best fans in the league," Thibodeau said, to wild applause. "We hear you loud and clear every night. You give us a true home court advantage and we, all of us, from me to the players, appreciate it."

Seemingly overwhelmed by the extended standing ovation he received, Thibodeau shuffled quickly to the sideline before catching himself and returning to the microphone to offer a final thought.

"Just to let you know," the defensive mastermind continued, "We also hear you loud and clear about Carlos Boozer."

The simple mention of the power forward's name elicited instinctive and ravenous booing from the fans, who were in no mood to forgive Boozer's disappointing showing in the 2011 NBA Playoffs and the team's controversial decision not to use the Amnesty Clause to shed his massive contract during free agency.

"Yes, we've received thousands of letters, text messages, phone calls and emails. For the sanity of Illinois' hard-working postal workers, please stop sending them. We understand that you think he is soft, that he isn't good enough to be a No. 2 guy, and that he isn't clutch enough to put us over the top against Miami."

Here, the second-year head coach drew a breath and exhaled, the long, lonely nights in his office preparing schemes and reading the fan correspondence clearly weighing upon his heart.

"Look, you're probably right about all of it. But how the hell are we going to trade him?"

Boozer, who mysteriously broke his hand for the second consecutive offseason, was not medically cleared to play in the scrimmage and was not available to provide a statement. Nobody noticed or cared.

Posted on: September 1, 2011 10:21 pm
 

The top NBA defensive systems



By Matt Moore



Stop me if you've heard this one before. Defense wins championships. That's not actually true, as some of the best defenses never win titles because their offense can't muster enough points to outscore a college team. But it's certainly vital. You'll never find a modern NBA team win with terrible defense. But who have the best systems? We know who the great defenders are, but how much are they a product of the system, and how much is the system a product of them? We sought to answer those questions with our own form of the defensive system power rankings. 


1. Chicago Bulls:
There's a reason Tom Thibodeau is considered a defensive genius. Look no further than the fact that the Bulls were the defensive icon of the league despite considerable injuries last season and the fact that Carlos Boozer was a heavy-minutes starter. The key to Thibodeau's system is help and precision attack. There's no anticipation of meeting the player at the point of field goal attempt, the initial penetration is deterred by a series of help defenders cutting off multiple options. It's a system that masks individual defensive weaknesses. That's why players like Omer Asik, Boozer, and C.J Watson suddenly become strengthpoints.

An interesting component is that the Bulls are so focused on preventing scores, they manage to avoid fouling. They had the 22nd lowest free throw rate in the league. Compare that with Boston's 10th rating, and you find a much cleaner defense. That's partially attributable to the different personnel but it's also indicative of the Bulls' approach. They attack the dribble, cut off the lane, and contain, contain, contain.

Their cohesion is nearly perfect, their communication is nearly perfect, their approach is nearly perfect. Guarding LeBron James nailing long-range threes? You've got be perfect to beat that.

2. Boston Celtics: The ugly older brother of the Bulls' defense. The Celtics use the same help mechanisms to deter penetration and attack the rim, but are far more willing to commit to a club to the head to make their point. Intelligent design matched with brute force. Another key difference is their reliance on their individual personnel. Kevin Garnett is of course the field general, and its his willingness to commit to any assignment or range that fuels the system. But Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo are all equally essential along with the rest of the team. The problem is that the central reliance on personnel gives way to vulnerability. Eventually age catches up with the Celtics.

What bolsters them, though, is a philosophical dedication. The Celtics are willing to do the hard job, no matter how tough. It's not just a matter of professional dedication, its a prideful philosophy, an extension of the family unity they've tried to instill in the team. That's really what separates the Celtics, their almost militaristic dedication to the defensive discipline they try and execute for 48 minutes.

The Celtics' defense is only going to continue to slide as the players' abilities downgrade with age. But until then, they're still stocked with the most experience, ability, and knowledge of their system of any team in the league.

...

Again, with the LeBron thing.

3. Miami Heat: If the Celtics and Bulls both rely on system built on systemic fundamentals and philosophy, then the Heat's concept is a bit different, if nearly as effective. Their strengths begin with their talent. Having three of the most athletic players in the league gives you a basis. LeBron James' ability to play on the perimeter, on the wing, in the post, and battle for rebounds gives them versatility. Chris Bosh is never going to win anyone's heart over with toughness, but guarding those stretch fours in a league where they can torch you is important, and Bosh does it well. Dwyane Wade still gambles more than he should, but he also makes plays more often than you want if you're facing him.

This isn't to say the rest of the Heat are schlubs. Udonis Haslem is a big, tough, difficult defender who has the savvy to arm wrestle a weapon to the proverbial ground. The Heat have veteran players who don't lack for experience, and it helps tremendously.

The most interesting wrinkle in their defensive system, though, is one of their anticipation. Consider that the Bulls and Celtics both react to where the ball goes. They're always playing a game of stop what's in front of them. It's a very Eastern-philosophy, "stay in the moment" kind of mindset. But the Heat look to anticipate. They run to the corner shooter before the ball arrives. They play on a string, but not just in terms of shutting down one option and then reacting, but getting ahead of the offense to prevent the quick open look opportunity. The result is a load of shot clock violations.

The problem is personnel. They have neither the wing stopper they can commit at the cost of offense, nor the body in the paint at center to defend the rim. There's a reason why Shane Battier and Eddy Curry reportedly top the Heat's list of targets in free agency. A few better options defensively in terms of personnel might have won them two more games in the Finals, which was all that stood in their way of vindicating all that premature boasting.

4. Orlando Magic: It's good to have the best. Dwight Howard makes more of an impact defensively than any other player in the league, the reason he's the defending Defensive Player of the Year (again), and why he was an MVP candidate last season. If you don't believe me, watch just the Orlando Magic defensively some time. A team with Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu in prominent roles was a top five team defensively last season, and that impact begins and ends with Dwight Howard. Howard reacts to the baseline, swats the weak side, covers both the ball handler and roll man on the pick and roll, and is big and tall and super-athletic. He's a freak of nature, and one that's learned to be smarter on defense every year.

But to say that it's all Howard does a disservice to Stan Van Gundy's work. Van Gundy, after all, is the coach that has brought Dwight Howard to the defensive level he's at, making it a priority for the young big man since 2007. And it's Van Gundy who manages to pull this kind of defensive effort out of a team with that roster. That Van Gundy is able to generate cohesive defensive efforts with Brandon Bass, Jameer Nelson, and Jason Richardson in key roles along with the others speaks volumes of what SVG is capable of.

His biggest weakness is that personnel, which has gotten worse each season since 2009. Howard's hit his ceiling defensively. Unless SVG gets better supporting talent, there's only so many rabbits he can pull out of his hat.

5. Los Angeles Lakers: It's good to be tall.

The Lakers' defensive system is a question mark as Mike Brown takes over. But if we look at what the Lakers have done well in the past, it's pretty simple. Be tall, be active, apply pressure. The Lakers will talk about experience and veteran savvy, but their biggest asset is the fact that Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum combine to create a redwood forrest down low through which passes cannot flow. The result is a lot of perimter passing just to get the ball to the other side, or wild looping cross-court volleys. Combine that with Derek Fisher's ability to counter his slowness with pestering opposing point guards into personal fouls, and Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest's proficiency in perimeter defense, and you have quite the set.

Honestly, this roster probably has a lot of upside in defense, still. Jackson was too busy handing out novels and waxing poetic on what other player or coach he was degrading that week to really focus defensively other than to talk about, well, focus. The Lakers with Brown could be the best defensive unit in the NBA next season. Whenever that is.

Also considered:

Milwaukee Bucks: Skiles continues to struggle with offense, but his teams always attack the ball and stay disciplined. It's sloppy at times, but Skiles' grinding approach is a proven tactic.

Dallas Mavericks: Rick Carlisle talked in the Finals about "defending with five guys" and that's the best part of the Mavericks. They use any and all weapons at their disposal. Their defense isn't why they won the NBA championship, but it was why they won the Finals. Versatility combined with determination and good chemistry with sound principles made them formidable enough to compromise teams enough for their offense to do the rest.

Memphis Grizzlies: Unconventional is the word, here, as the Grizzlies run counter to every defensive tradition in the NBA. They don't play position, they attack the ball. They don't focus on misses, they swarm for steals. They don't deny layups, they pester and pressure until the offense collapses. Out of nowhere, Lionel Hollins turned one of the worst defenses in the league into one of the best. Tony Allen's influence helps, so does Shane Battier's, but it's Memphis' adoption of the blue collar ethic of the town that helped them make their playoff run.

Posted on: August 3, 2011 1:57 pm
 

Glen Davis wants to make up with the Celtics

By Matt Moore

Glen Davis had such a great regular season. 

Glen Davis had such a terrible postseason.

As such, things are a little confusing as him as he sits through the lockout as an unrestricted free agent. There was a lot of talk during the Celtics' unceremonious exit from the playoffs about Davis' performance. He looked out of shape, lost, and failed to make a significant impact as the Celtics were thrown from the fold by the Heat. With Jeff Green's restricted free agency status assured with Boston's commitment to him, the thought was that Davis would want out just as much, after clashes with Doc Rivers and management. But at a recent appearance with Rajon Rondo at a charity event, Davis made it clear he wants to keep the green on. From the Boston Globe
But today, Davis said he wants to come back and wants to clear any ill feelings with Ainge and coach Doc Rivers. Of course, that is impossible during the NBA lockout because players are not allowed to contact team officials.

"Most definitely that’s my No. 1 priority [coming back],” he said yesterday. “See if I can come back here and play. And if can’t, go somewhere else.

"I think in a lot of situations you have to air things out. Especially with a player that’s growing. You’ve got to talk and clear things up and I think that time will come whenever the opportunity comes. I’m just trying to focus on working out.”
via Celtics' Davis considering overseas opportunities - Boston.com.

Davis was a Sixth Man of the Year candidate for much of the season, and was a big part of why the Celtics lead the East for much of the year. But Davis tends to rely on his mid-range jumper too much, and because of his contributions to a contending team, he'll be overvalued in free agency. The Celtics may simply not have the room, especially if they plan on a big 2012 with that free agency class as many expect them to.  

It's surprising to hear Davis talk so openly about a potential rift with his coach and front office, but at least he's being publicly contrite and not absolving himself of the blame. At the same time, where Davis winds up taking charges and looking goofy next year willd depend on the money, not personalities.  

Interesting sidenote: The Globe reports Davis has lost a significant amount of weight. That could be a game changer for his free agency prospects if he can keep the weight off until free agency starts... whenever that will be.  
Posted on: May 17, 2011 3:41 pm
Edited on: May 17, 2011 3:43 pm
 

Celtics coach Doc Rivers undergoes throat surgery

Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers is set to undergo throat surgery. Posted by Ben Golliver. doc-rivers

What a week for Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers. First, he signs a five-year contract extension for a price, $35 million, that could take your breath away. 

Then, Rivers is set to undergo throat surgery on Tuesday to remove a growth, a procedure that will temporarily take away his voice, reports the Boston Herald.
Doc Rivers will have surgery today to remove a non-cancerous growth from his throat, and he won’t be able to talk for two weeks.

“My wife will be the happiest person in the room about that,” the Celtics [team stats] coach said after arriving in Boston, now his professional home for at least another five years thanks to the $35 million contract extension he signed yesterday.
Other than the temporary voice loss, it sounds like everything will be A-OK for Rivers.

That's great news, because ESPNBoston.com reports that the surgery marks the end of a somewhat scary episode for Rivers, who had a biopsy on his throat all the way back in October.
After those test results initially came back negative, Rivers joked about the scare.

"I'm going to be around for a little while, it looks like," Rivers said in October. "I'm sure that disappoints everyone."
Rivers just completed his seventh year as coach of the Celtics. His career coaching record is 507-406.
Category: NBA
Posted on: May 13, 2011 11:52 am
Edited on: May 13, 2011 12:19 pm
 

Doc Rivers, Celtics agree to 5-year deal

Report: Doc Rivers agrees to five-year deal with Boston Celtics to remain head coach.

Posted by Matt Moore


Update 12:09 p.m. EST: Yahoo! Sports reports and Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirms that the deal is five-years, $35 million. That's quite a bit, but Doc is worth every penny.  Berger reports this is the same deal that's been on the table for months. 

Original report: CSN is reporting Friday morning that the Boston Celtics have agreed to a new five-year deal with Doc Rivers to remain head coach.

Rivers said following Boston's Game 5 loss to the Heat that he was looking to remain a Celtic, and reports published Thursday indicated a long-term deal like this was in the works. 

It's a curious decision for Rivers, considering his son's imminent enrollment at Duke, and after it took such hand-wringing to convince him to return last year. Rivers was close to walking away after the Celtics' last run fell short, and there's little to indicate the Celtics' odds at a championship will improve, considering their age and cap situation, unless Danny Ainge gets really inventive really quickly.

But sometimes it's not about just your odds at a championship, and Rivers has obviously grown strong connections to the city, the franchise, and especially to its players. Doc will keep roaming the sidelines for a few more years, it seems. 


We'll have more updates as this story develops.
Posted on: May 12, 2011 7:07 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 7:43 pm
 

Report: Celtics to lock up Doc Rivers long-term?

The Boston Celtics are reportedly negotiating a multi-year contract offer with coach Doc Rivers. Posted by Ben Golliver. doc-rivers

One day after the Boston Celtics were eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Miami Heat, the Associated Press is reporting that the team is looking to secure coach Doc Rivers to a long-term contract.
A person with knowledge of the negotiations says the Boston Celtics and coach Doc Rivers are working on a deal that would keep him on their bench for multiple years. The deal is for “more than two or three years,” the person told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the details were still being worked out.
With an aging core and the rise of younger, more athletic competitors, it's no surprise that the Celtics are looking for a measure of stability. Indeed, we noted earlier that Celtics president Danny Ainge is considering major rotation changes -- such as sending Paul Pierce to the bench -- and admitted that he would trade one of Boston's Big Three if a favorable trade came along.

In other words, it could be a choppy few years for the team as it works to reload, and possibly rebuild. The good news: It's clear from comments made to CBSSports.com's Ken Berger that Rivers wants to stick around. For the Celtics, keeping Rivers in place would not only provide a steady, trusted hand but could also serve as a potential lure for free agents. 

But, really, it's the continuity factor driving this decision. Locking up Rivers gives the Celtics a solid slice of an identity during what could be a major roster overhaul. Whichever players stick around will need someone they trust. Whichever players are brought in will need someone that carries a massive respect factor.  Rivers fulfills both categories, so if a reasonable financial agreement can be worked out, why not?
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com