After spending most of the early season preaching the importance of home-court advantage, Doc Rivers has changed his tune. Kind of. (San Antonio Express)
“I guess it’s important,” Rivers said. “I don’t know. We want to win the games, obviously, and I’m sure so does Pop. We would love to get the No. 1 seed or keep the 2 seed. At the end of the day, I want to be healthy and have our rhythm. If that takes up to Day One of the playoffs, I’m good with that.”
Would Doc prefer it this way, with the Celtics likely to earn a second or third seed, meaning they would likely have to play at least two series (if they advance far enough) on the road? Would Doc prefer it this way, with the Celtics (yesterday notwithstanding) stumbling into the playoffs? No. Of course not. The Celtics learned first-hand the importance of home-court advantage. They learned it can be the difference between winning and losing a series, between winning and losing a Game 7. (Hold on a second while I: (A) smash my head against the wall, (B) shout obscenities at my computer, and (C) wonder why, exactly, the Celtics decided to stop trying a few weeks ago. . . . Okay, I’m back.)
As the season progressed, standards lowered. Once, home court was the goal. Now, things have changed; Doc just wants his team playing good basketball by the time the playoffs roll around. If he has to take his chances on the road, so be it, as long as his team’s playing at a high level entering the playoffs. Is that perfect? No. But the home court ship might have already sailed, so it’s not like the Celtics really have much of a choice.