Not what the doctor ordered

27 05 2008

It’s pretty amazing how far the Boston Celtics have come in just a season.
To think, this time last year they were parked in their barca-lounges, watching the Cleveland Cavaliers, the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavs & Detroit Pistons strut their stuff.
Now?
They’re right in the mix of it, heading back to the Garden tied 2-2 with the Pistons.

With a flurry of activity on the trade scene over the previous summer, the Celtics ensured that they’d be in the conversation for the inevitable ‘who-is-going-to-win-it-all’ bar conversations.
* Need some intensity, and defensive momentum – KG. Check.
* Need some clutch shooting down the stretch – Ray-ray. Check.
* Need some playoff experience – Sam I am. Umm… check it anyway.
* Need some promising youngsters to come through for us – Rondo. Check.
* Need leadership to come through in big games – Pierce’ll do. Check.
* Need leadership from the top, a coach who can come through with the big plans when it’s on the line… umm… err… So, anyone see American Idol last night?

And if the Celtics have a weakness, that’s it.

Throughout the regular season, it didn’t really matter. Blind Freddy could have coached this team to a 60+ win season. I’m not sure it’s possible to attribute much of Boston’s success to Rivers.

And if they don’t win it all, especially if they lose in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Detroit PIstons – how will they grade this season? Is it a failure?

I know a lot of Boston fans had big expectations this season… and anything less than at least an appearance in the Finals (if not winning it), would be considered a failure. Matter of fact, should Boston make the Finals, I think that the fans will expect a win.

So… if they don’t? What happens from here?
Danny Ainge spent a helluva lot of Wyc’s money getting this team towards being able to compete for a title, but the time-frame’s limited. Next year, year after at the most – this team’s not young. Post that there are other teams much better situated to win in 3 years time, or further on down the track.
If they don’t win… or even make the rings this year, improvements will have to occur. It’s not enough to assemble this roster, amass 66 wins, then balk at the final hurdle.

What changes to occur?

First on the list should be getting rid of Doc Rivers and putting in someone who has a semblance of an idea. Doc was fine when it was a group of kids who were getting their feet under them, but now, clearly, he is out of his depth.
Never truer than when the Celtics have been on the road during the playoffs, and in need of some leadership from their coach… in need of a plan during crucial time outs… and good ol’ Doc seems at an absolute loss to provide them with any direction at all.

Ainge is no idiot. He proved that clearly when he engineered the existence of the team that treads the hardwood in the Garden. And should the C’s not get the silverware, Grousbeck will want greater returns from this roster.
Even if they win, even if they win… this coaching position could possibly be available… it’s clearly the spot that they can upgrade most in.

The funny thing is, that when I suggested that Utah’s Jerry Sloan might be over-the-hill and had given the Jazz all he could, there was a bit of an outcry. With Boston, I’d expect that pretty much most Celtics fans would agree that the position that they could improve most in is not at point guard, or at center… but at the head. Coach.

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14 responses

27 05 2008
brumbygg9

you make some good points…. but the original Big 3 didn’t take a lot of coaching (a fabulous prize from Malice if you can name th coach of the last Celtics championship team) and someone always came up with the big shot when it counted. Larry Legend, Kevvy Mac and the Chief would never have gone 11/38 combined in a playoff game – ever.
The players have to take responsibility and it’s time to stand up and be counted. However, I agree that a better coach would have found ways to settle the nerves and send in some basic stuff to get a few points on the board. If he doesn’t deliver this year Doc could be trying to get a gig with ESPN….

28 05 2008
Where Was Eddie? « RedsArmy.com: The Voice Of Celtics Fans

[…] of Doc… WithMalice is making the argument for canning him.  I disagree with many of the points… but many of you might […]

28 05 2008
Satan is a Knick

Doc didn’t make Paul Pierce suck last night. Doc isn’t making Ray Allen invisible. But I agree that he’s been overmatched at every level of the playoffs this year.

28 05 2008
Aaron

The C’s last coach to win a title is easy… my man KC Jones (not to be confused with the guy from the Ninja Turtles who carried the hockey stick).

28 05 2008
Josh R.

I agree that replacing Doc wouldn’t be the worst idea around, but who is out there (available for next year) that is an improvement? Avery Johnson is likely to be signed by the time the season is over (and it’s not clear he’s a big upgrade). D’Antoni has signed; Larry Brown has signed. Jeff Van Gundy? Ugh. Paul Silas? Promote Tibodeau?

28 05 2008
Mike

Doc is responsible for Sam’s minutes, which have been a disaster in the playoffs. He may have completely destroyed Rondo’s confidence by jerking his minutes around during the playoffs. And somehow he thinks it’s a good idea to blast his young point guard in the press. Ray Allen noticed this, and followed suit blaming Rondo for his poor shooting in the playoffs. This kind of thing isn’t happening on a Popovich or Jackson team. And as far as Ainge being intelligent enough to figure out Doc is an awful coach, doubtful. Ainge saw him lost 18 straight and then decided to extend Doc, yes extend him. This year worked out for Ainge, but more by mistake than grand design.

28 05 2008
erocking

I’m pretty sure the Mavs weren’t in the finals last year as they were the victims of the only #8-over-#1 7-game upset in NBA history at the hands of the Warriors.

28 05 2008
CelticsFrustrateMe

Celtics never seem mentality ready to put teams away and dominate the competition. They will lose unless they change. I believe they were only happy to have regained home court advantage when they went up 2-1. The fourth game displayed some complacent happy to be here this far players and a coach who won’t be in the playoffs much longer with this passive attitude displayed by his players.

Lakers and Spurs coaches Jackson and Pop are far ahead of both coaches in the Eastern Finals and know how to make game time adjustments and prepare they teams before the game mentally considering the big picture. Flip and Doc being about equal, yet the sad Pistons have played longer with one another and know how both to close out and lose a series especially against a superstar player who will step up game after game and continue to score. Celtics need Pierce to score in game 5, score in game 6 and if necessary score more in game 7, if he has that much left in the tank? Pierce conditioning is being revealed, Pistons always fold under the strength of a real superstar. I believe Lebron could have beat the Piston’s again if Boston hadn’t knocked them off.

Surprisingly Kenrick Perkins is the one player showing the right attitude and is ready to bang against the Pistons. Doc what happen to bring Leon Powe off the bench to bang. Powe has the goods to bang and isn’t afraid. Rondo experience is starting to show, but he needs to dig deeper because he has more to offer, just stop the bashing of him. I never expect so much from jump shooters when the intensity and defense gets this tough. Sam C. all that is left in his game is a jump shot shooter, which I’ve already comment in regards too. Therefore besides him, Rondo does have much assistance. I think the Celtics should snatch Kirk Hinrich from the Bull’s.

Imagine Kobe against the Pistons!

28 05 2008
brumbygg9

Avery Johnson has no playoff pedigree – why would you replace Doc with another guy who can’t get it done in the post-season?

Well done Aaron, who could forget KC Jones as coach of the incomparable 86 Celtics (with Danny A, DJ and 6th man of the year Bill Walton – who didn’t suck – to back up the big 3). Contact Donny malice to claim your prize!

How about a thought from left field? I got two words for ya….. Pat Riley

28 05 2008
withmalice

I await Rob sending me the *prize* so I can forward it on to you Aaron…

28 05 2008
John M.

All season long I thought, “When will Rivers show his true colors and single-handedly blow a game or two (or three)?” It really never happened…until now. Certainly, it’s the “big things” for Rivers but it’s also the “little things,” like – oh, I don’t know – fiddling with the lineup like a deranged hockey coach, subbing when a sub isn’t needed, and matching up crippled defensive players with their opponents best player. Yeah, um, things like that aren’t helping. Way to stick to your guns, Ainge.

28 05 2008
brumbygg9

maybe you can send Aaron some of the money you won from Khandor on the Lakers this morning?

28 05 2008
withmalice

Hell no. I deserve that…

If you want a prize for readers for your post ol’ fella, you have to supply it.

Still Rob, one step closer to the dream, huh? Your boys just have to work on it now…

28 05 2008
withmalice

It’d be a pity if that were true – that Ainge basically fumbled his way into creating this team. Given that Kupchak has worked damn hard, and been pretty much castigated by everyone at some point… and then Ainge wins GM of the year.

Still, I guess at this point in time, ol’ Mitch and anyone else from the LA Lakers are feeling pretty happy with themselves at the moment.

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