Tag:Doc Rivers
Posted on: August 16, 2010 11:12 am
Edited on: August 16, 2010 11:48 am

Doc gave Shaq the hard truth before signing him

Doc tells the big man some hard truths before bringing the MDE on board.
Posted by Matt Moore

When the Celtics signed Shaquille O'Neal, questions were rampant about how this was going to work. O'Neal has remained adamant throughout his career's downward slope that he's still capable of his former glory. It was pretty normal for people to start wondering exactly how this was going to work, and if Shaq was going to start making noise about his overly exaggerated role on the C's.

Well apparently, Doc Rivers nipped that in the bud.

The Boston Globe reports that before Shaq signed with Boston, O'Neal visited Doc Rivers' home for a little talk. And there, Rivers lowered the boom . Via the Globe:

"He told O’Neal he may not start. He told O’Neal his skills had declined, so touches won’t be a priority. He told O’Neal he was a liability on pick-and-roll defense. O’Neal sat there with a blank expression, and Rivers thought there was no chance of a deal getting done."

It must be nice to be Doc Rivers. Championship ring. Lots of dough. And the ability to tell the Most Dominant Ever that he probably won't be getting his name called in the introductions and that he sucks at pick and roll defense. I wouldn't tell him that. He'd eat me.

Of course, if I'm being a skeptical, cold-hearted son of a gun (and I am), I'd point out that saying you're totally fine with something in preseason is one thing. Keeping your mouth kept during a losing streak in which you don't feel you're playing enough is a different matter. And O'Neal knows he brings more offense and total size than either Kendrick Perkins or Jermaine O'Neal. But so far, it looks like the O'Neal has honestly bought into "the Celtic way."
Posted on: June 30, 2010 2:31 pm

Rivers reuturns to Celtics

Well that didn't take long .

About thirty seconds after I got done telling you how complicated the Celtics' situation is, Doc Rivers made it simpler. Via Ken Berger:

"Doc Rivers has decided to return for the final year of his contract to coach the Celtics , a person familiar with the decision confirmed to CBSSports.com Wednesday. Rivers had been thinking about stepping down to spend more time with his family."

And later:

"The timing of Rivers' decision was no coincidence; only he in the Celtics' organization has the persuasive powers to convince Pierce and Allen to forego potentially lucrative invitations to compete for a championship elsewhere, possibly with other marquee free agents. Those invitations will come fast and furious, but the knowledge that Rivers will be back certainly will give Pierce and Allen pause about leaving."

It can't be overstated how much Rivers' decision may influence both Pierce and Allen. This team has thrived based on a common philosophy and a bond. Their chemistry has been instrumental in their success, and that, more so than X's and O's is a product of Rivers' work. His return means that Allen will find it that much harder to look elsewhere. The same is even more true for Pierce, who has never donned another jersey in his NBA career.

That siad, Rivers was on thin ice before the Big 3 came along. He's been instrumental in the development of Rajon Rondo and Glen Davis, but struggled with Al Jefferson, and his rotations are notoriously spotty. For all the talk of wanting to focus on upgrading the current team, overcomplicating the lineup takes Rivers' focus away from what he does best, motivating. It'll be key to watch if the Celtics decide to keep the same blueprint with significant improvements, or try and expand the formula into something different. There are risks either way.
Posted on: June 30, 2010 1:10 pm

The Celtics are at a crossroads

You realize it was just three years ago that the Big 3 in Boston were formed? At the time, we knew that their window was short. All three were older, with only a few years left. After the first championship, it looked like they were destined for more. Then when the collapse in 2009 happened due to injury, we thought the window had slammed shut, and that carried through last season when they limped into the playoffs. Then they tore the East's head off and ate the remains, and going into the Finals it looked like everything was hunky-dorey. But even losing in the final minutes of a Game 7 aren't enough when the league moves as fast as the NBA does now.

And with the events of the past 48 hours, one thing is clear. The Celtics are at a crossroads.

Paul Pierce is opting out . Ray Allen is a free agent. And Doc Rivers is still trying to decide whether to come back or not. And all three of those decisions impact each other.

If Rivers comes back, he'll want to make sure he's contending for a title, not rebuilding. And Pierce and Allen will likely want to play for the coach that took them to the Finals, not Vinny Del Negro (no offense, Vinny).

So all sides have to come together to make another run at it, and then Danny Ainge has to decide exactly how much that run is worth. This is not an easy situation. You might say this is trickier than Amar'e Stoudemire in Phoenix or Dwyane Wade in Miami. The future in Boston is highly uncertain. They were unable to get to the summit with the squad as currently assembled. Do they believe they could get there with the same group a year older? Do they need home court advantage (read: should they actually try in the regular season?)? Do they have to upgrade? Are they willing to take a paycut to upgrade?

Rivers, to his credit, and unlike some other headline making coaches, is staying quiet . He's going to not say anything, make his decision, and live with it. Pierce is opting out, but there's no indication if he's doing so to make room for the team or to get the most he can or to explore his options elsewhere. After being dangled on the trade line, you can bet Ray Allen will be taking a good look around.

This team could be dramatically different next season, and that has impacts on Rajon Rondo, who would need to become the unquestioned leader of the team. For Kendrick Perkins, who will have surgery and won't be ready by the start of the season .

And where does that leave Kevin Garnett? All the Celtics have succeeded by one motto of staying together, playing together, fighting together. But the winds of change are at the door, and as a team, they have to decide what happens next.

Like I said, things move pretty quickly in the NBA. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss... wait. That's not right .
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com