Washburn saw a Celtics team that was sleepwalking for three quarters against a hungry Nets team that needed a win.
DOC RIVERS POSTGAME
Doc Rivers said essentially what everyone else was thinking. The question after three quarters, with the Celtics down 1, was whether they’d do it.
I told them before the game that we should win the game; I’m not going to blow smoke and create some illusion that’s not there. I said, having said that, the only way you can do that is you have to execute our system. And if we don’t, then anybody can win the game. It’s called basketball. It’s a competition. And I thought from the middle of the third quarter on, we did that.”
“Tonight we needed to come out with that killer mentality to destroy them the first half. I thought that collectively as the quarters went on, we increased the intensity defensively. We pretty much got what we wanted on offense.
When we started the game, we didn’t come out with that energy to get them out of here. When you look at the game in New Jersey, the tone was set right away defensively, hands were active. You could see the energy there, but it wasn’t the same. I think as the game went on, third and fourth quarter, I think that we picked up.”
Having been on losing teams, though not as drastic as the Nets’ situation, Ray Allen talked a little before the game about what it was like and why he feels no sympathy.
I do believe at some point all of us in this locker room have been in that scenario, in that situation. I don’t feel sorry for them. I believe that it’s almost like a rite of passage for most guys coming into the NBA, being part of a team where you have to learn to become a better teammate to grow and understand and learn NBA life. You might be playing a lot of minutes, but you have to learn what it is to be successful in this game.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is what futility looks like. The New Jersey Nets started the season with an 18 game losing streak. They’ve currently dropped four straight and 15 of their last 16. For all intents and purposes, New Jersey essentially looks like a sparring partner for the Celtics, trying to snap out of a January funk by starting February with three straight wins.
If the Nets think this can’t get worse, they’d better do a little homework. What they will discover as this season progresses is that opponents will not, as they may hope, take them lightly. They will discover that opponents will play as if every Nets game is the seventh game of the Finals. The desire to win does not to begin to compare with the fear of losing to a team that loses to everyone else.
No one’s a cupcake, but the Celtics have won 11 straight over the Nets. Still, Doc Rivers is cautious about getting his team whole again.
“I’m not playing him unless he feels he’s great,’’ Rivers said. “I don’t want to hear any of this ‘I can get through a game’ – that’s not good enough. So, if he feels good on Sunday, we’ll play him. If he doesn’t, we’ll wait until Wednesday [at New Orleans] and, if not, we’ll wait until after All-Star break. “We’ve got to do this right and I don’t know what is right. If he doesn’t play in the three games and he’s feeling a lot better, I would actually want him to play in the All-Star Game. It allows him to play before we get to the West Coast.’’
Marquis Daniels, Tony Allen, and Glen Davis are all on the floor getting up early shots. Doc talks in a short while.