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Rivers says Celtics lack focus

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  January 18, 2010 11:51 PM

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After a loss to the Mavericks, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said his team needs to develop more mental focus, regardless of whether or not Kevin Garnett is in the lineup.

“I told our guys I thought our mental focus and our mental toughness right now is not very good," said Rivers. "You know, I thought the game plan in the first half was perfect. Get back in transition, contest shots, and start in-to-out. Everything was in-to-out in the first half. It started on the post and it came out. Second half, I thought our defense was horrendous."

Rivers said his team simply broke down on basic (OK maybe advanced) principles of basketball.

"We just broke a lot of rules," said Rivers. "On the release of a shot, everybody’s back except for the bigs under the basket, and on the release of the shot everybody was going forward toward the basket trying to get offensive rebounds. I thought our third quarter, the first four or five minutes I called the early time out -- I thought, I could see it. I kept saying it on the bench. I thought we came out relaxed and we thought Dallas would just go away.”

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