Doc Rivers says some NBA coaching staffs have proceeded “business like normal,” but the Celtics staff is not one of them. (Boston Herald)
“It’s been interesting,” he said. “We have, what, seven signed players. But as a staff, we’ve still watched film, we’ve prepped. We’re meeting in a week again as a staff. I know some staffs have gone on business like normal, where they’ve been in the office every day. I made a conscious choice not to do that, because you just don’t know. The tough part is not knowing the rest of your roster.
“But we pretty much know who we are. We’re not changing much as far as our identity defensively and stuff like that. But there are areas we want to improve on, on offense and defense, and we’re going to do that.”
There are only so many times you can look at tape and say, “Yup, Kevin Garnett is a great defender, Paul Pierce likes the stepback jumper, Rajon Rondo can really pass, and — ya know what? — why don’t we try to get Ray Allen open for jumpers next season?”
Doc Rivers is familiar enough with his team that watching tape every day just doesn’t make sense. So for now, he has been living the life — “golf, family and that’s about it,” he said. Living the retired life well before retirement, and getting paid for it. Sounds like a decent deal.
As Rivers noted, the Celtics currently have only seven players (eight if you include E’Twaun Moore, whose second-round draft selection does not come with a guaranteed contract). One name who might interest the Celtics while filling out their roster: Grant Hill.
The 38-year old small forward is reportedly interested in joining a contender next season, and the Celtics have shown interest in the past. Hill might not be a perfect fit — the Celtics bench was starved for three-point shooting last season, and Hill has never been known as a knockdown shooter — but he’s a solid veteran with a versatile skill set. The Celtics will be limited by their salary, which figures to be over whatever salary cap is determined in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. But Hill could come cheap.
If he does, he could very well be on the Celtics’ free agent wish list, a list that Danny Ainge has spent more time making this offseason than ever before.
“We’ve done that,” he said, “but we’ve done that every summer, every draft and every trade deadline. It’s the same as usual. We’ve just had a lot more time to go over things.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen, but we’ll be prepared. We’ve just gotten organized in our scouting. We’re just more organized now.”
Organization will help, but Ainge will also need to be creative whenever the free agency period begins. Decisions will need to be made on Glen Davis and Jeff Green. Delonte West will need to be wooed. Centers will need to be convinced to sign. Ainge will have to fill eight roster spots despite a severe lack of spending money, and he will have to juggle the success of next year and the desire to leave salary open for a 2012 spending spree.
Godspeed, Danny. Godspeed.