Re: Doc Rivers Will Be Back In Boston
posted at 6/16/2013 12:36 PM EDT
It is said that "familiarity breeds contempt", but in sports, familiarity breeds confidence among players and coaches. The heavy-handed abuse Doc takes here is appaling given the facts of injuries and Danny Ainge. Ainge is a clear and indisputable clunker of a GM. Just as he was as a player, his impulsiveness leads his decision-making. He was never a "thinker" as a player, only a reactive overachiever, and he's continued as in his current incarnation. Ainge could always find a way to keep the opposition in the game by making horrid choices and ill-timed errors of judgement (really bad shot selection). He's still finging ways to help other teams while hurting his own re: Tony and Ray Allen(s). By not making either player an off-season priority, he sent them away. Ray would have stayed if Ainge tried nearly as as hard to keep him as he worked to keep KG. Ray wasn't looking for as much money as KG, but he was looking for respect and Ainge, not Doc, worked his particular "magic" to send a message to Ray that he wasn't all that critical to the team's success. What idiocy! Granted, we all think that Perkins would have wanted too much money to stay, but would he have accepted less to stay and win? We'll never know because Ainge pulled the trigger at the worst possible time (after thinking that two over-the-hill, washed-up and injured centers could replace a healthy and adequate Perkins).
I'm so tired of this Doc-bashing and talk of him as being the Devil incarnate when he has been taking teams farther into the playoffs than they might have deserved. Doc isn't perfect, but he might just be perfect enough for a team that plays aggressive, team-oriented defense and relies on strong play from a number of players, not just "stars". At the beginning of each of the last few seasons, the Celtics second team looked daunting on paper, but showed themselves to be paper tigers on the court, not because of Doc's coaching, but because the elements not used to gauge the bench was toughness and the ability to put the ball in the basket when it counts the most. Leon Powe got the most from what he had while in Boston and that was because Doc pulled it out of him and gave him a green light, aided by the Big Three's examples. Tony Allen was exposed during the WCF as a better role player than starter, something everyone here already knew, but Ainge didn't even talk to him to retain his services as a role player. Allen thought, quite wrongly, that he should have started here - over whom, I ask? All that Ainge had to do was point that out, but because DA didn't even bother to talk to Tony, he was gone.
I apologize for the length of this, but it pales in comparision to the amount of negative and wrongly placed accusations regarding the responsibility for the Celtics problems. Doc isn't the GM, and clearly Ainge isn't up to the task. The fire-the-coach stupidity permeates all sports from high school to pros when most times talent quality is the crux of the issue, not who's directing the players. But, the coach takes the fall, and not, as in this case, the GM? I'd prefer to see more of Doc in the decisions and less of Ainge, but Ainge's ego can't tolerate that. Firing Ainge is the only logical move at present. As much as Pitino was awful, he did demand and receive the ability to choose his players. He seemed to always chose wrong, but he still had the option to be wrong all by himself. Doc hasn't that luxury available to him and he has to deal with Ainge's mistakes and blunders.
Give the Celtics a smart and thoughtful GM, let him bring in the necessary pieces (as can be done under the current CBA), give Doc a year and a half, and then judge Doc's performance with a full team, not beset by injuries, by the way. Trade and draft fantasies and evaluations are what makes for enlivened discussions, but Doc-bashing serves no useful purpose other than to foment individual, personal frustrations that manifest as riding Doc out of town on a rail. Why no throw in the tar and feathers.
I would guess, that's guess, that the same outspoken people who want Doc to leave the most also wanted the Celtics to get Austin Rivers and be coached by Doc.
"They don't put Ws and Ls on the paychecks" - Sidney Wick