Sports Illustrated provided another example of Doc Rivers’ great coaching, as well as a look into the regular season Rasheed Wallace.
Rivers held individual 20-minute meetings with each player in February, which is something he does at least twice during each season. He began the meeting with Wallace by asking if he viewed himself as a good shooter. Wallace answered yes.
Rivers nodded and asked, “If you were a coach, would you let a player shoot threes if he was only making 20 percent of them?” Because, at that time, Wallace was converting at that lowly rate.
“And he started laughing because he knew I had him,” Rivers said. “And he said, ‘Well, if I thought the guy could really shoot and was just missing shots, then I’d say, Yeah, he can shoot them.’
“Then I said: ‘What if the guy never practiced his shooting?’ He said, ‘I would say if he didn’t practice his shooting and he was shooting 20 percent, then he shouldn’t be shooting.’ So it was easy, I didn’t have to say anything more. That’s where I give him credit, because from that point on he put the time in. Before and after practice he was shooting.”
So Sheed never practiced his shooting during the regular season? What am I supposed to be, surprised? But Doc lit a fire under Sheed and Sheed became a decent shooter again in the playoffs. How much of that was just Sheed realizing it was the playoffs and how much of it was Doc getting through to the lazy veteran, we’ll never know.
As cool as it is to see an example of Doc pushing the right buttons with his players, this is also exhibit A of Sheed losing the motivation to play basketball. There’s nothing left in those batteries of his. Even though the Celtics could use him next season, I’d be very surprised if he comes back.
Sheed said he plans to coach high school basketball in the future, and will ask Doc Rivers and Larry Brown for their playbooks so he can borrow their offenses. It sounds like he’s known for awhile he’s going to be retiring, and is ready to move on. Damn it, the Celtics could use him back. Why couldn’t he have just retired midseason, when we all thought he was a brick-laying Satan?