The season is no longer young, and the Celtics have yet to take off the way many thought they would before the season began. 12 wins to their credit with just a week remaining before Christmas has left Doc frustrated with his talented, yet inconsistent team, per CSNNE.com
Where I think people get mixed up, there's a difference between a veteran team and a lot of veterans on a team, this is not a veteran team. This team hasn't been together.
You work on habits, you have to improve your habits,
We see it on film. We'll do it. And then we never sustain it.
Doc's point on the Celts being 'a team full of veteran's' as opposed to a 'veteran team' is actually a salient one. Keep in mind, the Green added ten new players to the mix this season (since dropped to nine with Darko peacing out). And with Avery Bradley missing the first seven weeks of the season Boston is playing with just four returning players from last year's playoff run (Pierce, Garnett, Rondo, Bass).
But it's one thing to call the team out for not sustaining their good habits, it's an entirely different thing to call them out for not being in the proper shape. Following Saturday night's loss to the Spurs, Rivers went there.
I honestly thought we got fatigued. So that’s something we’re going to have to work on. We’re going to have to get in a little better shape because we want to play at that [uptempo] pace. The game was a good pace. I thought San Antonio was used to doing that and continued to do that. They were able to sustain their play, and we couldn’t.
Now this isn't the first time Doc has called out his players for being out of shape. , he said it at numerous times during last season's lockout shortened season. But this year was supposed to be different. The C's spent time together before the pre-season began, working out and attempting to get a jump on developing chemistry with one another. Instead, 23 games in, Rivers is calling them out for both their conditioning, and their lack of chemistry.
One of the reason's that Doc is as frustrated as he is stems from the shear level of talent on this team. Last year he saw himself leaning on players like un-drafted free agent Greg Stiemsma, banged up veteran Mickael Pietrus (knee surgery before and after the season), 11th year combo guard Keyon Dooling and scrap heap big man Ryan Hollins to hold together the second unit.
Jason Terry was supposed to be the fire off the bench, and has played quite well - but mostly as a starter as Bradley has been out.
Jeff Green was given $36 million to back-up the 3 and 4, and lately his scoring numbers have soared. But his poor play on defense and the glass has been troubling.
Courtney Lee just hasn't found a rhythm, averaging a career low in points and shooting well below his career average.
Jared Sullinger, Chris Wilcox and Leandro Barbosa have all provided good depth to the bench and played well at times, but none have stepped up as a consistent threat.
With Bradley's return appearing imminent, and Terry shifting back to his preferred role as bench scorer extraordinaire, you've got to hope things will begin falling in place. There is still plenty of time left for this team to find themselves (let's not forget last year's team was 5-9 after 14 games and 15-17 at the All-Star Break), but Rivers knows it's time to start putting the abundance of talent to good use, before it gets too late.
We’ll win more than two games in a row at some point. We’re just not there yet and we have to get there. And I told our guys, ‘enough of saying we’re not there. We have to get there.’
Here's my twitter, so follow me maybe - Mike_Dyer13 Mike Dyer 12/18/2012 03:24:00 PM Tweet