Doc Rivers: Mickael Pietrus is ‘the instigator’ Celtics desperately need right now
|01.17.12 at 10:28 am ET|
After Monday night’s 97-88 loss to the Thunder, Doc Rivers spoke as if he were jealous of Mickael Pietrus.
“He has a great role — shoot,” Rivers said. “That’s a helluva role. I never had that as a player because I couldn’t shoot, was probably the reason.”
He even lamented his case to his old coach with the Atlanta Hawks, Mike Fratello, who was on hand doing the game nationally on TNT.
But after further thought, Rivers’ jealousy turned into sincere admiration for the combination of toughness and determination Pietrus brings to the team, a trait that’s needed badly right now as the team battles through a five-game losing streak and a 4-8 start to the shortened 66-game season.
“He earns it, though,” Rivers said. “The guy, he plays so hard. He’s going to take some crazy shots sometimes and he may turn it over but his spirit is really good for our team. He’s competitive and we needed to add another instigator to our team. He is absolutely an instigator.”
Pietrus finished 5-of-9 from the field, including a trio of 3-pointers that lifted the crowd and his teammates into a frenzy as the Celtics made every effort to wipe out a double-digit deficit heading into the fourth quarter.
“I’m just trying to be in the position where everybody knows where I’m coming from,” said Pietrus, who finished with 14 points in 21 minutes off the bench. “Everyday I just learn from the offense to defense just trying to get myself ready for my teammates and the coaches and I’m starting to feel better but I still have to keep working hard because right now we are not winning so every little thing that you can practice and work harder and improve the team so that’s what I’m trying to work on right now.
“Coach gave me a lot of confidence. I love coach, I’ve loved him since I’ve been in the NBA. We just have to be patient with ourselves and we can see our chemistry’s coming. All we need right now is just one win it can be against anybody, we just need that one win to get everybody regrouped and feel better.”
Funny, Doc has always had nice things to say about Fratello, too.