I’ve always dreamed of being an NBA coach. Especially the coach of my beloved Boston Celtics. So, for today’s column I’m going to make my dream come true and pretend that I am Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers. And since it’s the first day of 2010, I had to decide what my new years resolution would be. Happy new year to all, and I hope you enjoy!
Here’s my list of New Year’s Resolutions, in no particular order:
Keep the end in mind
- Whether we finish as the East’s #1 or #2 seed means very little to me. At 13-4, we are the best road team in basketball, and we are a veteran team who knows how to overcome difficult situations. For us, the regular season is all about staying healthy and sharpening our execution. The ultimate goal is to win an NBA championship and the regular season is just a means to that end.
Reduce Paul Pierce and Ray Allen’s minutes
- Because our goal is to win an NBA championship, we need Pierce and Allen to be rested and ready come playoff time. At the beginning of the season, I said I was going to limit The Big Three’s minutes, but I haven’t kept my promise. While Kevin Garnett is only playing 30 mpg, Allen (36.1 mpg) and Pierce (35.4 mpg) once again lead the team in minutes per game and are playing almost exactly as much they did last year. I need to keep their playing time down to around 32 mpg to keep our stars fresh.
Teach Rajon Rondo how to shoot free throws
- Rondo is shooting 57% on FT’s. A PG has to be a better free throw shooter than that, because he is going to have the ball in his hands at the end of games. Poor free throw shooting by Rondo could cost us games. Improving your percentage is all about practice. I was a career 78% from the FT line, so I need to take Rondo to the gym and work with him until his arms fall off from shooting. No other way.
Continue giving Kevin Garnett “strategic rest”
- Like I said, the regular season is just a means to an end. And though we’ve tried to downplay Garnett’s health issues, frankly, he’s a 32 year old guy who has played more than 1,100 NBA games. His knee can only take so much wear and tear without becoming detrimental to his performance. Garnett is a warrior, but for his own sake, I need to give him off days like a baseball catcher to give his body time to heal. Plus, it’s always funny to watch the way KG will act when he’s on the bench, but not suited up for the game.
Convince Rasheed Wallace to play more in the post
- I’ve told Wallace 1,000 times to post up more, but I guess I’ll have to tell him 1,000 more. Though he is much more efficient inside (close to 50% on 2-pt shots, only 28% on 3-pt shots), he continues to fire away from behind the arc. In the last 3 game, when, with injuries we’ve needed him to contribute more, he’s 2-15 from 3′s. He’s old, out of shape and doesn’t have the legs anymore to shoot well from distance. He shoots line drives and his shot comes up short very often. I don’t know how else I can explain this to him….
Be kind to the officials
- I am the leader of this team, and it’s on me to make sure we reduce our technical fouls and whining to the refs. Both Perkins and Wallace lead the league in technical fouls with 10 each, and once they get to 15, they will have to sit out a game for each additional technical foul. Technical fouls, especially in the playoffs, can be huge momentum shifters and we can’t keep hurting ourselves. I whine to the officials constantly, which only encourages Perkins and Wallace to do the same. From now on, I’m going to be a gentleman on the sidelines.
Throw Perkins a bone
- Perkins has developed to the point where I need to start running a few plays for him. He has vastly improved his offensive game, and he’s so good at the little, gritty things that go unnoticed, that he has earned a few offensive sets where we post-isolate him. Keep banging, Perkins. We appreciate it.
Mix the the first and second units
- It has been written about constantly (most notably by the assholes at Celtics Town) that I don’t mix the starters and the bench players enough. It’s a valid point; our bench is very deep and has played great, but I could make it easier on them to be productive by occasionally playing them with our stars. Playing with great players makes it easier on any role player, and I vow to change my subsititution patterns by mixing the two units.
Beg Danny Ainge for a backup PG
- Rajon Rondo is great and he’s young and can play a ton of minutes, but we still need a true backup PG. Eddie House has consistenly proven that he is not a point guard, but a shooting guard, while Marquis Daniels has been serviceable at the PG, but is a better wing man. Ainge has the expiring contracts of both Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine to offer before this season’s trade deadline and I want a second string PG once and for all.
Give the younger players some game experience
- With the injuries piling up, I think now would be a good time to give some of our younger players a chance to play. I want to see how Lester Hudson, Bill Walker, and J.R. Giddens can perform with extended minutes. You never know when your going need to call on a player to play, and it’s better they gain some experience before that time comes.
Win the 2009-2010 NBA Championship
- BEAT LA!!! BEAT LA!!! BEAT LA!!!