“What did we accomplish?” countered Rivers. “We accomplished a bunch of individual guys doing things.” “I think it’s the biggest thing,” Rivers said. “That’s the thing with young players. They tend to focus on that (individual) part first, and you can make a case that none of them have gone past that besides Al (Jefferson). So if you go by that model, that doesn’t sound great. But a lot of them are getting closer to being able to do that and being able to do a little bit of both, establish themselves individually and with the team.”
What Doc basically did was throw everyone not named Al Jefferson under the bus. In effect, he is saying that they are all selfish and putting themselves before the good of the team.
From all reports, our players get along very well on and off the court. They work out together all the time and all seem to be pretty unselfish players and hard workers. Is Doc saying that West was focusing on himself when he was playing in pain last season because he knew that the team needed him? And Perk was focusing on himself when he played game after game in excruciating pain from his foot, knowing that the team needed him?
Bulpett asks this question in his article:
If a player has the requisite talent and aptitude to learn, then exactly whose fault is it if he doesn’t perform to his capabilities?
I believe that our players have the requisite talent and they also have the aptitude to learn. So doesn't that point to the coach as the reason that a group of very talented players doesn't put it all together? According to Doc, it isn't his fault at all. It seems to me that Doc is already setting up an excuse for why the team doesn't win next season. It can't be the coach. Has to be the selfish players.
Doc's system doesn't play to the strengths of players. He doesn't allow them to use their instincts but they have to follow Doc's system and the plays he calls out. If a player happens to break a play, he knows that he will be pulled and spend much of the game on the bench. Bigs have to stop at the top of the arc and wait for the ball to be passed around the arc before moving in to play under the basket. The point guard isn't the primary ball handler, and how many times do we have to watch Pierce drive into a triple team and turn the ball over with at least 2 of his teammates open?
We have some very talented players. The youth excuse no longer flies as Perk has 4 years experience, Al, Tony and Delonte have 3 years experience, Green and Gomes have 2 years experience and Rondo and Powe will have 1 year experience. The only problem is that all of that experience has come with Doc as coach. If they aren't improving and advancing as they should, given the talent involved, you have to point at the coach.
Doc is already making excuses:
“I don’t know yet,” he said. “I think that’s something we’ll see. It’s tough to tell. We had so many injuries and all that crap last year, so I don’t know the answer. I think we’ll find that answer out. I’m hoping they are. I believe they’re a lot closer, but whether they are or not we’ll find out.”
But while he is making excuses, players like Perk took 2 days off and then was back to work trying to improve his game. Green has put on muscle and is working hard with John Lucas to improve his game. Al, Powe, Gomes, Rondo, and West have all been working hard as well. These kids care about the team. They care about winning. They work hard and play hard and with heart. A coach who says they care more about individual stats than the team only cares about covering his own back. If this team doesn't come out strong, Danny should finally admit that Doc can't coach and give this team a chance with a coach who can. [Discuss this topic on the Celtics Green Forums!]