The End? Shhh! Is it over? Have the tanks all gone? Is the Doc still in the house? Dammit, Doc's still here. And he's speaking for some reason. Speaking about the 91-89 loss to Deroit and the "Flip Shot" (pun intended) heard 'round the world, um well, at least around the local sports bah's. C's Coach Doc Rivers had this to say,
"You know, fitting end. That's how the season has gone."
My how the season has gone. A last minute loss, as usual. Just another day in the life of Doc's Celtics. I think the gunmen who shot at Detroits' Flip Murray, were actually disillusioned Celtics fans looking for Doc! But is it possible Rivers feels as bad as us!? Do you give a dump?
“You just didn’t feel like you had a lot of control over winning,” Rivers said, “and that was tough. I don’t ever want to go through it again.”
Ready! Aim! ... Feeling under the gun, Doc? The bad jokes only get worse folks! The truth is, if Doc didn't feel under the gun before, he's in front of the firing squad now, he knows it. He knows because he led the C's to the second worst record since going a franchise-worst 15-67 in 1996-97 (see, The Duncan Conspiracy). But the big but here is the extension talks. Should he stay or should he go (cue Clash record)? If this Ainge quote is any hint to Doc's future, I'd say he is staying,
“Doc is a good coach. Doc did a good job actually in my opinion, and that’s why we’d like to keep him as coach of this team and give him a real opportunity and chance to coach. That doesn’t mean he’s perfect, but I think he did a very good job of coaching this team.”
Maybe the poker-faced Ainge is playing a hand. But let me say this, if he does get an extension, I'm taking bets on how many games into the 2007-08 season before Ainge tosses Doc...on his...but I digress. Even Doc is asking for his last request. He's banking on a playoff promise in exchange for Ainges ink,
“I think I should be,” Doc speaking of the possibility of being fired. "I think we’re going to be in the playoffs. If we’re healthy and with what we have and what I think we’re going to be adding, we’re going to make the playoffs. I have no doubt about it. I think we are set up to make a nice jump, hopefully a Toronto-type jump. I believe in that 100 percent.”
Just Say No! Personally, I think Doc shouldn't even make it that far. Despite his player rapport and patience for the young guys, he's otherwise a failure. The fact that he used 25 different starting lineups, compared with 18 last year and 12 in 2004-05, proves his horrible, dare I say, rotation system. You, me, and everyone else has taken the injuries into consideration. Hell, I'm probably legally blind after watching this broadcast season. But listen, I've been sitting here writing this high school editorial to you for a couple hours. I did it because Ainge expects Doc to keep his word. And as usual, I am required to believe,
“I won’t be satisfied until we’re playing deep into the playoffs. I’d be very disappointed if we’re not,” Ainge said.
Disappointed! I must have a lower tolerance for disappointment. With every bad coaching decision, I turn green and then have to turn the channel. I always come back like some sucker.
Hustle & Powe And what I'm a sucker for is some of the C's players future possibilities. I mean, despite this season and this finale against Detroit, and the tank talk, and the Doc extension talks. We Celtics fans do have a bunch of positives to keep us interested long enough not to care that the ship is sinking with Doc. Namely, Al Jefferson Rojon Rondo, and Leon Powe. At least some of Ainges draft picks are actually panning out. Hope that I didn't just curse us!
Oh wait...phew! I'm not the jinx. Is it you, Tommy? Naw! Ahem, let's get back to the positives. Like I mentioned before Al Jefferson has really been dedicated to improving and making his name. And his name just may be Mr. Hard Work, Big Al Jefferson,
"The only good thing about this season being over is that I'll count down the days until training camp," Jefferson said "I'll just count down the days, get the playoffs over with, the summer league over with and get right back up here and get ready."
Gotta love Big Al!
Also, Gerald gave us a glimpse. There's lot's of analysis from C's fans about Green. Mostly, that GG was inconsistent and lacks physical presence. All true, but I also point to his flashes of his great potential, which were unfortunately, overshadowed by our losses.
“When I see that Al’s improved and Gerald’s improved, but we lost, I don’t come to work the next day feeling good,” Rivers said.
Al's Not Pointing Fingers Jefferson is not. Maybe his play of this season affords him the luxury of not being pointed at. According to Big Al, you better point them at your mirror!
“Who are you going to point the finger at?” Jefferson asked. “You’ve got to look in the mirror. We’re the ones out there playing. So I think everybody on this team knew we couldn’t point the finger at anybody."
Mr. Jefferson bring about a good point. We don't know what it was like all season with the injuries and crazy rotations Al made sure he got his thoughts off his chest further, by saying,
“This is a young team. We haven’t been in this league long enough to point fingers at each other or blame somebody else for why we’re losing. It’s all us together as one unit.”
Does Jefferson just know the right things to say or is the kid great!? I think he'll be great. He's just real good right now. He's got a real motivational leadership way about him. His youthful enthusiasm is refreshing.
Paul Spotting Now if all this mess hasn't been bad enough, we've got our Super-Star in the papers because of rumors of unhappiness and trades. Pierce is at least being frank and is exhibiting more patience,
“I haven’t come to those types of speculations,” Pierce said. “Right now, I’m waiting to see what happens with this ballclub over the summer, waiting to see if certain moves will be made to better this ballclub. I’m just focused on this ballclub getting better.”
Was he reading from a cue card? Summer ballclub. Lottery ballclub. Focus ballclub. Rivers also sticks to the script,
“I think Paul can sit back and watch what we do this summer,” Rivers said, “and after the summer, I think it will be easy for him to want to stay.”
Tommy At The Point If you hadn't already heard, Tommy Heinsohn will represent the Celtics at the May 22 lottery. Rivers seems happy with the decision then says some interesting and uninteresting things,
“He’s been pretty lucky his whole life,” Rivers said speaking of Tommy. “I think we should send Tommy, I think we should send (Bob) Cousy, I think we should send (John) Havlicek. Just don’t send any of the guys from this year, but that luck has not been very good.”
Heinsohn has been lucky? Who would've guessed our Mascot "Lucky" has been Heinsohn all this time (rimshot)! Oh no, just don't send this years team. They're responsible for all bad luck, past and present. Ladies & Gentlemen! Coach Rivers! If you were one of his players, would that be funny to you!? My sense of humor is probably different. Or so I've been told. In any event, just do me a favor and make sure you turn off the lights before you leave. Thanks. source: Celtics Green
Great article, Loy. I have been very puzzled by Danny's continued backing of Doc. If he can't see Doc's problems with X's and O's in games then there is something wrong. Maybe he has his eye on a coach that isn't available now and so he is trying to keep Doc happy with Danny Speak until that coach is available for the job. Carlisle comes to mind...