I wrote earlier about how I felt that much of Rondo's problem with his shot has been confidence and that this season he has confidence in his shot and people are noticing. It appears that confidence is key to another Celtic as well. Gary Washburn posted this on Sulia
Doc Rivers on working on Darko's confidence: "“He just needs a chance; he just needs a team that wants him to do his job without asking him to be the No. 2 pick in the draft. We’re just asking him to be part of a group and part of a team. We give him roles on the team. I think he likes the roles that we’ve given him and he didn’t feel any extra pressure. So far so good. We just have to keep him in that frame of mind that he’s in now.
"You can see that he gets frustrated easy. So we’re trying to eliminate those episodes. Our thing right now with Darko is to play forward. From being around for a short time, as a coach I can probably feel he’s played his career backwards. He lives in the past a lot and we’re trying to get him to live in the future. I told him (Friday), the only time I’ll take you out is if you make a mistake and make another mistake because you’re thinking about the last mistake. I won’t take you out for making a mistake. So hopefully that works.”
I think Darko's biggest problem in his career was being picked #2 in the draft in front of some players who have become stars. Darko was so young when he entered the NBA and he was raw and not ready to be thrust into the spotlight. If he had been drafted late in the first round and brought along slowly, we might be talking about what a dominant player Darko is.
But, at every stop, Darko was expected to come in and be a star. He was never given a chance to develop. And at every stop when he didn't produce like a #2 pick, he was shoved back on the end of the bench, which only served to further frustrate him and deteriorate any confidence he had left. He's tried to live up to the #2 pick billing so far in his career and it's been a disaster for him.
I think finally he is in the right place to succeed. The Celtics don't want him to be the #2 pick, they want him to be a team player and fill a role, which is the Celtic way. Reports from training camp is that he is embracing being "Celtic" instead of Darko. In his first game, we saw glimpses of what can be this season. He played well, made some great passes, and had the play of the game in my opinion when he tipped a rebound out to Jason Terry while sitting on the court. I have high hopes for Darko this season if Doc can succeed in building some confidence in him.
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My darko posts are starting to be on the light side.