After the Celtics  suffered a 103-88 blowout loss to the Pistons in Detroit on Sunday night, coach Doc Rivers  blasted his team for its lack of intensity and effort. He hinted at changes to either the lineup or the roster if the team continues the dispassionate play that the coach suggested had characterized not just the team’s three straight losses but even some of the victories towards the end of a six-game winning streak that preceded the current string of defeats.
“I think this team wants everything easy,” Rivers told reporters in Detroit after the Celtics fell back to .500 at 20-20. “They want the easy way out. They want to win easy. And I told them the only way you’re going to win easy is you’re going to have to play hard. The harder you play, the easier the games become. We’re taking the wrong approach. I’ve got to either find the right combination, the right guys, or we’re going to get some guys out of here. It’s the bottom line. Because this group right now, they are not playing right. It’s in them to play right. But right now they haven’t been — either because I’m not getting to them, or they are not getting to each other. But at the end of the day, either we’ve got to do that, or we’ve got to make changes.”
The Celtics were outscored by Detroit, 27-18, in the first quarter, a stretch that Rivers said was typical of the team in recent days.
“[The start of game] was awful, we are playing awful,” Rivers told reporters. “I’m clearly not doing my job with this team. And I’m serious, I’m not trying to take a bullet for the team. And I told them that. I said, ‘We’ve got to find something where, every night, all 12 guys play the same way.’ We did it for three games in a stretch. I told them that games 4 and 5 in that [six-game] winning streak were garbage; we just won the game. I’ve got to figure that out. I told the guys that, I’ve got to figure it out. Because I don’t think the guys are honest with each other. I just don’t think we have committed to being a good basketball team.”