Shortly after signing a five-year contract extension, Doc Rivers will undergo minor throat surgery to remove a non-cancerous growth. He had a similar surgery (the same surgery?) after last season, when he thought the growths might have been cancerous. At the time, he explained that coaches are more susceptible to such growths because they yell so much. And after the last two regular seasons, Doc has had plenty to yell about.
In other news, I worry for Tom Thibodeau’s throat.
Moving on to basketball tidbits, Rivers admitted the Celtics need to revamp their bench. Which is similar to saying Andris Biedrins and Ben Wallace would like a new free throw form, or Avery Johnson would like a new voice—easier said than done. An improved bench would take the pressure off the Big Three and leave them with more energy later in the game. This past season, because Glen Davis and Jeff Green were as useful as an umbrella on a perfect day, the Big Three had too much responsibility. Once, they could handle that. But now they are too close to receiving their AARP cards. Speaking of Davis, Rivers claimed he had no problem with the undersized yet oversized power forward. But, “He may have had a problem with me. He just wasn’t playing well late in the season. The first half of the season he was playing the best ball of his career, and then he just fell off of that.” No kidding.
Rivers knows switching eras seamlessly and maintaining status as a contender will be difficult (and could come very soon). But he swears there is a path the team can take to keep from rebuilding.
“I don’t want it to get to that — I’ll put it that way,” he said. “Whether that happens or not is something we’re going to find out. Hopefully, we can avoid that. There’s a path to avoid it, though it won’t be easy to follow. We just have to see what we can do.”
Fell well, Doc. And reload, don’t rebuild.