In today’s Boston Herald, Steve Bulpett argued that Doc Rivers was not the problem for the struggling Celtics.
Rivers isn’t perfect, but the coach isn’t this team’s problem.
To those who claim the fault lies not in the stars, we say only this: The hell it doesn’t.
The Celtics have gone 13-16 since Christmas Day because the well-heeled people in sneakers neglect to follow directions. And when one player doesn’t make a defensive rotation, it looks like The Three Stooges trying to squeeze through a doorway at the same time.
Quibble with Rivers’ substitution pattern if you like, but there is no reason that whatever quintet is on the floor should choose not to execute the plans as set forth by the staff.
Isn’t that exactly what a coach losing his team is? That his advice, no matter how well its been proven to help win games, falls on deaf ears? I wrote a piece after the New Orleans Hornets game before the All-Star break about Rivers perhaps losing his team, and it still seems the same way.
For months, Rivers has been preaching about playing well for 48 minutes. The Celtics still haven’t put together a complete game.
For months, he’s asked for improved defensive intensity. The Celtics are still going through the motions.
For months, he’s asked for better ball movement. The Celtics still go through long stretches of one-on-one play.
Rivers put a sign in the locker room before yesterday’s game that read, “Individuals win games, teams win championships.” They proceeded to get waxed by a bunch of untalented individuals who can barely qualify as an NBA team.
It’s the players’ job to go out on the floor and execute. But it’s the coach’s job to motivate them to do so. Right now, nobody’s doing his job correctly.