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Doc Rivers has another unmistakable message for his team


This has been an early season of “message sending” for Doc Rivers [1].

After the first two games, the Celtics [2] head coach talked about not trying to win games by playing one-on-one basketball.

On Monday, after barely surviving blowing a 16-point second-half lead in Washington Saturday night and watching the Wizards reserves dominate the Celtics second unit, the theme turned to the bench. “I’m not going to change the way I use [Kevin Garnett [3]]. If our bench doesn’t score, then we’ll lose, simple.”

Well, he got a much better effort from Chris Wilcox [4] (albeit four minutes), Jason Terry [5] and Brandon Bass [6] off the bench on Wednesday night and it was the biggest reason why the Celtics won, 100-94 in overtime.

But what Rivers saw early on as his team fell behind and what he saw late in the fourth quarter were the two things he focused on afterward.

‘€œWell, we won the game,” Rivers said. “And right now that’€™s the type of team we are. We’€™re not playing great. It’€™s good to win a game like that. We’€™ve won two like that. You knew coming into this night, no matter who you’€™re playing, when you’€™re play a team back-to-back games, you give them three days, you knew it’€™d be a tough game. But we made it so much harder. I thought we played for the first five minutes great, and then we went back to old habits. I thought our energy was terrible.

“I thought Chris Wilcox saved the game for us, singlehandedly, with his effort. And I thought it was obvious. He didn’€™t do anything but played hard and played with great effort. And I thought that that leadership led everybody else into doing. Kevin, always, I always exclude him because he always plays the right way. But we’€™ve got to get more guys that play harder, better. I don’€™t care about ‘€˜well,’€™ you know, I don’€™t care if we play ‘€˜well’€™ or not, because that’€™s just human. If you can make shots or not, it happens. But we just have to play with a better focus and we’€™ve got to run our schemes better.’€

Next up for the 2-2 Celtics, the 2-2 Sixers, who are coming off a win in New Orleans Wednesday night and will be in town Friday night. What will Doc’s message be? Stay tuned.