When an NBA team performs poorly, the blame game is sometimes easier to play than basketball. But to the players’ credit, they did not point fingers through all the ups and downs in November. In fact, when discussing the Celtics’ 106-103 loss to the Nets Wednesday night, Paul Pierce faulted himself and his teammates for not showing more focus.
‘‘If you look at the tape, and we’re pretty much going over the same stuff we went over in shootaround, I think it’s all just sometimes a lack of concentration for a full 48 minutes,’’ said Pierce. ‘‘The stuff that [Doc Rivers] showed us is the stuff that we went over. It’s about applying it to the game every single time. If we can do that, then we’ll be a consistent team. It’s good that we go in there and see our mistakes. Hopefully, we learn from them. There’s a lot of things we did [against New Jersey] that we didn’t accomplish defensively, that we’re going to have to do [Friday]. Hopefully, we can clean those things up.’’
Rivers has been repeating a lot of instructions to the players lately to clean up mistakes, but he hopes the players will take a more active role in policing themselves.
‘‘Today I told all our coaches to be quiet in practice,’’ said Rivers. ‘‘I don’t want to hear another word from our coaches. I want to hear the players talk out on the floor. That’s probably a thought of all coaches at times that practice is our time to say, ‘Come over here. Move over here.’ Sometimes you should just shut up and let them do the talking.’’