The Celtics took Thursday off to reflect on their Game 2 performance and disheartening 115-111 overtime loss to the Miami Heat. Celtics coach Doc Rivers spoke on a conference call with reporters and did not want to touch on the officiating, which has been a source of concern for Celtics fans today.
Rivers touched on a variety of topics from Game 2 and here are some highlights from his conference call:
His thoughts after watching the game again:
“We played very hard like I said in the press conference last night. But there were times when we didn’t play smart on our defensive rotations. I thought there were a lot of things that we did that we shouldn’t have done and we should have been in spots to prevent some of the drives late in the game. I thought our transition (defense) at times broke down with our discipline, so as well as we played offensively and at times as well as we played defensively, I just thought there were a lot of things guys will see on film that they won’t be happy with. That’s a good thing too because they are very fixable.”
Mentally, how do the players respond from the tough loss?
“Well you still have to play so smart. You have to do it all the way and I think our guys will see that. We’re trying to break this wall down and we’re chipping away at it, that’s the way I look at it. We made vast improvements from Game 1 to Game 2 and we have to even more improvements to Game 3. And I think we will.”
When Mario Chalmers or Udonis Haslem scores, do you have to live with that because of the emphasis on LeBron James and Dwyane Wade?
“That has to be taken away. Listen, we want to stop James and Wade. We also want to stop Chalmers and Haslem and everyone else. That’s what our defense does. Chalmers made some shots, you’ve got to give him credit. Our defense broke down on several of those shots. A couple of those (3-pointers) he was probably going to get with our help but I would stay 10 to 12 points of those were more our fault, even through help (defense) we should have been there and I will say almost all of Haslem’s was a defensive breakdown. So those are the ones we can’t have.”
Will you make any personnel adjustments for Game 3?
“I was happy with the plan but I was not happy with how we followed through with the plan throughout the game. We are going to tweak somethings but not much. We just have to do it better.”
How will the guys respond to the must-win situation?
“I think we’ll be fine. We have two games at home. One at a time and after we win those two games at home, it’s a tied series. That’s how we have to look at it. But we also have to understand just going home is not going to be the fix. We have to perform well. We have to play with the same intensity and then we have to carry it through and be disciplined for 48 minutes.”
What is your take on the free throw disparity?
“I am not going to touch that, I can tell you that. I think Paul Pierce attacked just as much as LeBron James attacked last night, so I’ll leave it at that. We’ll get past that distraction. After the game, there’s nothing wrong with being distracted, today I think we’ve always moved past it and by tomorrow we’ll be ready to play.”