A couple of things have caught my attention recently. First, what is it with all the complements for Doc? VanGundy was falling all over himself trying to say nice things about Doc. This from the Globe:
"I think Doc is a hell of a coach saddled with a difficult year, but he handles it with his usual poise and class and calm."
Playing in the Western Conference, Van Gundy doesn't see the Celtics up close very often, but he had high praise for their offense. "I think they're an outstanding offensive team," said Van Gundy. "There's a lot of people who get credit for being great offensive coaches in this league and well-deserved. I don't think there's anybody better than Doc Rivers. The way they play the game offensively is beautiful to watch if you're not having to guard them and defend them."
Uh, has he noticed that we only shot 34% for the game? Is that the offense he was talking about?? The offense where Pierce takes too many shots and the kids defer to him whenever possible, that offense? Wow.... Also the Rockets' announcers last night were saying what a great coach Doc is and were gushing all over him. I just don't get it. Maybe they are just hoping to keep him in Boston so there is no chance he comes there.
In the Herald, Danny admits that the state of the Celtics is his fault but he also defends his approach to building the team. He had hoped to trade a couple of our young players for veteran help last summer but nothing worked out. He repeats the fact that he isn't going to give any of them away. Doc has said that he feels that the majority of fans want to keep this group together and let them grow and develop chemistry as a team. I have to say that this approach appeals to me. I love all of these kids and feel that they are just going to get better. Danny also admits that the deal for Telfair and Ratliff was about money but that the like Telfair as well.
Ainge also noted the draft day deal for Sebastian Telfair [stats] was done largely for financial reasons so the Celts would have money to re-sign their key young people.
“But we liked Sebastian, too,” Ainge said. “We still like Sebastian. If we had known we could get Rajon Rondo (in a trade with Phoenix for the 21st pick), we may not have done the trade for Sebastian, but I think having two good, young point guards is an asset. And we still needed the flexibility down the road to keep our up-and-coming players. That would have been a real problem for us if we hadn’t done that trade.”
I have been thinking this since the deal was made. In spite of the fire that Danny has come under, I think he has done a good job and this confirms that he is thinking a couple steps ahead with moves he makes. We see just the players he brings in but have to consider the financial consequences as well. In spite of Wally's injuries and Blount's resurgence in Minny, I still think that was a good trade. I do miss Ricky, but if both of them were ruining the chemistry on the team, it is better to have them gone.
Finally, Peter Vescey has an article in the Post about Seattle retiring Haywood's number. The Sonics have honored 6 players by retiring their numbers and yet DJ, the MVP of their only championship team was never been honored by them. They retired #24 for Haywood and yet that is the number that DJ wore. It seems as though they made the decision to choose Haywood over DJ for the honor. This is almost a bigger travesty than the fact that DJ isn't in the Hall of Fame.
I still feel that this team isn't as bad as their record and their recent play indicates. I keep expecting them to break out of their slump and go on a winning streak. Maybe it is the Koolaid, maybe I just can't help myself, but it keeps me watching and waiting for them to break out. I know all about the ping pong balls, but I just keep hoping for them to win because I want these young players to develop a winning attitude and not one that settles for losses. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have Oden or Durant, but losing doesn't guarantee we get them and might destroy the confidence of the kids on this team. I think the damage has been done and we will stay close to the bottom even if we do start winning.