First, I had to admit I was wrong about the Garnett trade and now I am willing to say I was wrong about Doc as well. I was one of Doc's biggest critics last season and didn't feel that he could successfully coach a team.
But, it seems that I was wrong about Doc as well. First of all, the Celtics' record speaks for itself. I have seen some people say that coaching doesn't have much to do with this team winning because of the players he has on the team. But, if Doc was to blame for the losses last season with the young players he had, he has to get some credit for winning this season with the veterans he has this season. It has to go both ways. If he is blamed for the losses, then he should also get credit for the wins.
Doc has been able to motivate this team. He introduced the concept of Ubuntu that has been instrumental in building the concept of we, not me on this team. He does little things like posts articles that would motivate the players in games. He had been instrumental in building team chemistry. KG has said that Doc is one of the best coaches he has had on any level. KG also had this to say about him:
"That's what I love about Doc. He's not afraid to get in your [tail]. He's not afraid to tell you that you're messing up. He's not afraid of challenging guys and letting us know that this is what needs to be done. And we respond. I love it. I love the fact that he's not nonchalant. He doesn't care who you are, what the facts are in this league. He respects everybody, but he knows when we are not playing to our capabilities and he came in and got us going a little bit. It was good."
With a team of veteran stars, one of the key things to be successful is to earn their respect. It seems that Doc has done that with not only the younger players, but the All Star veterans as well.
Doc's lack of a decent rotation bothered me last season, but it seems that with consistent players, Doc has been able to set a consistent rotation. This season, Doc has had a set rotation and has done a good job of using matchups to our benefit. The one knock was that he was playing the 3 stars too many minutes, but he has done a good job recently of keeping their minutes down to a reasonable level.
Doc has been doing a good job of in game adjustments this season as well. The Celtics have outscored opponents in 15 straight third quarters. It can be said that veteran players will make adjustments on their own and come out with more intensity when they need to, but the coach also has a big part in motivating them to do so and in making adjustments in the game plan.
Last season we lost a lot of close games and many, including myself felt that it was because of Doc's inability to come up with a game plan for the end of games. This season it is just the opposite with the Celtics being able to pull out close games. Same game plans, but a different team makes all the difference.
Doc's apparent lack of respect for defense was my biggest gripe with Doc last season. But, with the addition of Tom Thibodeau and Kevin Garnett this season, the Celtics have taken defense to a whole new level. Same coach, different team. A whole new outlook on the defensive end.
I still read statements that Doc has little to do with this team winning and that when it comes the playoffs, where coaching really is important, he will blow it. That may be true, but for now, I am letting the results speak for themselves and giving Doc the benefit of the doubt.