Apparently, I am not the only one who is upset by Doc's creative lineups at the end of the games lately. Lineups that would guarantee that we wouldn't be competitive down the stretch. Consider having Allan Ray at the point during crunch time against the Bucks and not calling a time out to set up the final play. Am I wrong in believing that these kids deserve better? Ryan Gomes has been rather outspoken lately about Doc's coaching and the attempt to gain the best possible drafting position. In the AP Post Game report after the Bucks game, Gomes had this to say:
"I probably (would have played), but since we were in the hunt for a high draft pick, of course things are different," Gomes said. "I understand that. Hopefully things get better. Now that we clinched at least having the second-most balls in the lottery, the last three games we'll see what happens. We'll see if we can go out and finish some games."
“The players weren’t thinking about the lottery and all that,” said Ryan Gomes, “but reality is reality. Now that our position in the lottery is set, hopefully we can go out and win some games.
“Things could change now, but another thing you’ve got to think of is that he (Rivers) was doing that for a reason. It could be for that reason (lottery position) or it could be for getting the younger guys some playing time or seeing who’s going to be here next year. There’s a lot of things that go into that.”
It is obvious from reading these quotes that Doc's rotatons haven't set well with at least one of the players. With the players giving all they had, I imagine it didn't set well to see the coach obviously not trying as hard to win. I would say that they have lost some degree of respect for Doc judging by Ryan's words.
Speaking of players giving all they have, Leon Powe almost won that game against the Bucks by himself. I love this kid. And apparently, so does Delonte. He had this to say about Powe after the Bucks game:
“He’s a beast. He’s man-child. He’s going to be a great player in this league. He can rebound the ball. He has a nose for the ball. He’s always getting the and-one’s, and he’s causing havoc down in the paint. That’s the type of player you need to build championship-type teams. You need guys like that.”
I hope Danny realizes this and keeps Powe around because he is going to continue to get better and will be the physical force every team needs. The knock on him is that he is undersized but he plays much bigger than his size because of his huge wing span. Clifford Ray heard the same thing over his career and because of his long arms he also was able to play much bigger. And a player of Powe's integrity is good to have around.
I have been greatly dismayed by the number of articles out recently saying that Danny is ready to give Doc an extension. Doc is the only coach in NBA history to lead 2 different teams to 18 game losing streaks. His disregard for defense has been a thorn in my side since he came here. A team doesn't just pick up defense by playing it while working on offense and Doc seems to think they do. His rotations and in game decision making has been driving me crazy for years, not just during the past few tanks. I just don't see where bringing Doc back will be a good thing. Now, it appears that he has drawn contempt from at least one player who didn't like sitting by and watching Doc throw games. Maybe the others aren't as vocal as Gomes is, but I am sure they feel the same way. Adrian Wojnarowski examines coaches in question in an article on Yahoo Sports today and feels the same as I do. Extending Doc is a waste. Even bringing him back for the last year of his contract is a stretch in my opinion. Wojnarowski has this to say:
If Boston does this, it must believe its players are stupid. So the Celtics give Rivers an extension this summer, and thus, the players say to themselves, "Now we have to play hard for him, have to listen, because we're sure he'll be around for the long term?"
He mentions that Doc tries to take credit for Jefferson's improvement this year. Doc had nothing to do with Al's improvement. It was Clifford Ray, who has proved himself with team after team that his coaching gets the best out of big men. If anyone should be extended, is should be Ray, who is the most valuable coach we have on the staff.
Doc is an offensive minded coach and said as much last season when he said that he works mostly on offense in practice because that is the hardest to get through to players. The defense works itself out because after all, half the team is playing defense when they are working on the offensive sets. Doc is all about his offensive sets and his system. A system that doesn't use the strengths of any of his players. I go back to the success of Red Auerbach's teams. His motto was keep it simple. Doc mentioned at the end of training camp that he was introducing 8 new offensive sets. Is it any wonder the players have trouble keeping up? He micromanages the team and we would be much better off with a coach that has Red's mindet. Keep it simple. Use a player's strengths instead of trying to fit them all into square holes.
Wojnarowski also addresses Doc's inability to coach defense.
For now, Rivers doesn't need more money to make his team better. He could use a better coaching staff, especially a savvy defensive mind on his bench. Instead of paying Rivers for a year or two that he'll probably never coach, the Celtics would be wiser to invest in a Dick Harter-type aide to sit with Doc next season. If Rivers really wanted to solidify himself in the locker room, that would be a smarter way to go.