Posted by Brian Robb on Dec 12, 2013
For the opening 10 seconds of his first postgame news conference back at Boston’s TD Garden, Doc Rivers sat in silence. His new team, the Los Angeles Clippers, had just defeated the Boston Celtics, 96-88. However, as Rivers fought back tears when asked about his standing ovation from the Garden faithful, that result was the last thing on his mind.
Finally, he was able to compose himself and answer the question.
“It was just a really nice day.”
The joyous reunion felt between Rivers and the Celtics on Wednesday night seemed to be a long shot merely six months ago. Rivers left Boston on less-than-cordial terms, departing an aging roster that was on the verge of a rebuild for the greener pastures of a contender and a greater degree of front-office control in Los Angeles.
Boston received a 2015 first-round pick as compensation for allowing Rivers out of the remaining three years of his contract, but the ordeal took its toll on both sides.
Boston’s president of basketball operations, Danny Ainge, placed Doc’s exit on his former head coach, declaring it was ultimately Rivers’ decision to leave. Doc disagreed with that version of events, stating publicly he felt Boston had been on board with the move. As both sides played the blame game for the majority of the summer, an awkward cloud hung over the entire situation.
Rivers changed his tune this week. In a refreshing change of pace, he finally took responsibility for his departure. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Michael Pina on Dec 12, 2013
There’s a great quote in Kirk Goldsberry’s recent, brilliant LeBron James article on Grantland that stirred dozens of thoughts in my head. Here it is:
“For me, the one-on-one guy I believe I can get around every time. But it’s always the second or third guy that I’m paying attention to, and I’m seeing plays before they happen.”
That’s James describing what it’s like to have super powers. It creates more than a few questions. The most important being: How many current NBA players are actually capable of thinking this way? Less than five? It’s an insane, intuitive skill that can’t be taught. Either you have this vision—this innate sense—or you don’t. At least I believe that’s the case.
Of course, this also has me thinking about Jeff Green. But what doesn’t? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Tom Westerholm on Dec 11, 2013
The Celtics tried really REALLY hard to ruin Doc Rivers’ return to the TD Garden. Nobody was particularly efficient, but everyone was engaged from the beginning as the Celtics tried for the second time in as many nights to beat a returning long-time member of the franchise.
In the end, there was just a little too much firepower — Jamal Crawford’s two 3-pointers in the last few minutes were back breakers — and a little too much scoring around the basket on the Clippers roster, and the Celtics were outgunned.
There were still plenty of positives to go around, and Ryan will be by later tonight to grade the performances, but for now, here’s the tribute to Doc Rivers the Celtics played after the first quarter (with a…questionable choice of background music). Big ups to Boston’s classy fans for cheering Doc’s accomplishments, rather than booing his messy exit.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.
Posted by Adam Lowenstein on Dec 11, 2013
Los Angeles at Boston
7:30 P.M. ET
Boston: 98.8 points/100 possessions (T-22nd)
Los Angeles: 105.1 points/100 possessions (5th)
Boston: 100.5 points allowed/100 possessions (11th)
Los Angeles: 100.4 points allowed/100 possessions (10th)
Probable Clippers Starters:
Chris Paul (PG), Willie Green (SG), Jared Dudley (SF), Blake Griffin (PF) & DeAndre Jordan (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: ClipperBlog
Thumbnail: Hope you are ready for The Reunion: Part II. Just 24 hours after the Celtics tipped off in Brooklyn for their first regular season game against Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, they will do the same in Boston as the TD Garden hosts Doc Rivers and the Clippers. Oddly, these teams have more commonalities than were expected when the season began. Heading into Wednesday’s contest, both own a 6-4 record in their last 10 games, and both lead their respective divisions by 1.5 games.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Tom Westerholm on Dec 11, 2013
As the season has progressed, the B, R, A, D, S, T, E, V and N keys on my laptop have been receiving extra abuse, and that’s not likely to change, especially on days where Celtics Hub editor emeritus Zach Lowe talks one-on-one with Boston’s new coach for Grantland. Stevens had a ton of interesting insights into the season so far, and Lowe asked all of the right questions, but here are a couple of particularly relevant excerpts from the piece, but go read the entire thing.
Lowe: Was there a “Come to Jesus” talk with Jordan Crawford? [...]
Stevens: I never had it.
Stevens: It was more about talking collectively about: “What do we all do well?” And then thinking about what our teammates on the floor do well, and how we all can make them better at what they do. There are very few guys in the NBA who don’t have things they don’t do well.Some of the better players don’t have very many, but everybody is here because they have a strength. So you just try to find your strengths and soar with them.
[Crawford] has done a good job of recognizing his strengths and recognizing his teammates’ strengths. Read the rest of this entry »