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Doc Rivers hesitantly starts Jared Sullinger in desperate move to shake up his Celtics 01.27.13 at 12:39 pm ET
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Doc Rivers admitted Sunday morning that’s he’s desperate to shake up his struggling Celtics.

And sometimes that means making moves you don’t want to make.

Sunday, Rivers took Jared Sullinger out of his comfort zone off the bench and placed him in the starting lineup to add some energy to a team that has lost six straight.

“More because Jared is playing well,” Rivers said. “Honestly, I don’t love it because I worry about our bench. Our bench has been off the charts and that may affect them. But we’re doing it because he’s been playing so well.”

Sullinger has hit a speed bump in his last two games, being held scoreless in the double-overtime game against the Hawks Friday night and scoring just seven points with three rebounds in 15 minutes Thursday against the Knicks.

Rivers said he didn’t make the move just to give the team a spark against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

“Not much,” Rivers said. “Just the way our starters were playing, I thought our lineup needed a shaking up. I’m really doing it cautiously because I just think at some point our starters will find themselves. The one thing I always worry about is our bench. Our bench has been off the charts. The one thing about the Atlanta game, it was a six-point [lead] when they came in and it was 27 points when they left. You don’t hear that a lot from a bench.”

“We just took the game for granted.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Jared Sullinger, Miami Heat
Doc Rivers: ‘If I saw that effort every night, I’d be very happy’ 01.25.13 at 10:58 am ET
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The message could not have been more clear from Doc Rivers.

Even in a loss, the energy and fight needs to be there if the Celtics are to get back on track and make a second-half run to the playoffs.

“If I saw that effort every night,” Rivers said, ‘I’d be very happy.”

He wasn’t happy with the fact his team lost its fifth straight after winning six in a row. He wasn’t happy with his team’s execution down the stretch. But he was satisfied with making life tough on Carmelo Anthony again, especially in the first half 26 minutes, when they held him to 4-for-15 shooting from the floor.

He was happy with the fact that his team trailed 80-70 with eight minutes left and made a charge to make it a two-point game.

He says the signed are there.

‘€œWe missed a lot of open shots,” Rivers said of his Celtics, who finished shooting 40 percent. “But I don’€™t think it’€™s pressing; I just think we’€™re missing shots. [At the end] those were just two turnovers. Overall, you look at the whole total, we had 12 turnovers. That doesn’€™t sound like pressing.”

Paul Pierce had another miserable night from the floor, making just 6-of-15 shots. He had a key turnover with 7.1 seconds left as the Celtics were trying to tie the game but that’s not what really bothered Rivers. It was the play with a minute left and the Celtics down five. A bad pass from Jason Terry and a golden opportunity to cut into the lead with under a minute left went by the boards.

“The play before [Pierce’s turnover] is what I was more disappointed in,” Rivers said. “I didn’€™t think we executed that great. That was supposed to be a hand-off to Paul coming off, and they got their hand in on the ball. And I had my three best shooters with Jet, Paul, and Kevin (Garnett) involved, and it just didn’€™t work out.

“It’€™s frustrating to lose when you give effort, because you’€™ve got to keep convincing your guys if you play that way every night, you’€™re going to make more shots than that. And you’€™re going to win a lot of games. But right now they’€™re sitting there thinking, ‘€˜We lost.’€™ So, they know it. They know with that effort you’€™re going to win most nights.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA, New York Knicks
Doc Rivers reiterates: ‘I have to figure out a way’ 01.24.13 at 8:10 pm ET
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Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said before Thursday night’s game with the Knicks that he still believes his team has what it takes to overcome the doldrums that have seen his team lose four straight after winning six in a row.

Rivers was asked if he had any changes in store for a big weekend of basketball that includes the Knicks, Hawks and Heat on Sunday.

“Let’s hope we don’t [have to make changes],’ Rivers said. “If we start playing better then you don’t, obviously. If you don’t [start playing better], then we have to do something at some point. Again, I think we have what we need in the locker room. I’m just not getting it out of them and I have to figure out a better way of getting it out of them.”

Rivers also said he hopes his team is inspired by the Kevin GarnettCarmelo Anthony incident the last time the two teams met in New York, a 102-96 Boston win. Anthony was held to 20 points on 6-of-26 shooting from the field.

After getting into a confrontation late in the fourth quarter, Anthony tried to meet with Garnett in front of the Celtics locker room and then in front of the Celtics team bus before Madison Square Garden security and police intervened.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
Doc Rivers rips Celtics after latest loss: ‘We’re taking the wrong approach’ 01.21.13 at 2:25 am ET
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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.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Avery Bradley (ribs) out as Leandro Barbosa starts 01.18.13 at 6:48 pm ET
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Avery Bradley will sit out Friday night’s game against the Bulls with sore ribs suffered in Wednesday’s loss to the Hornets. Leandro Barbosa will make his second start of the season in his place.

Friday’s starting five of Rajon Rondo, Barbosa, Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass and Paul Pierce marks the 11th different lineup coach Doc Rivers has used this season.

This is the first game Bradley has missed since missing the first 30 games as he recovered from shoulder surgeries. The team went 14-16 in his absence. With Bradley back, the Celtics are 6-2 and have improved their defense significantly. Bradley is averaging 8.1 points in eight games while the team has not allowed 100 points. The Celtics are allowing just 86.8 points in Bradley’s return.

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Doc Rivers
Doc Rivers on Kevin Garnett as an All-Star: That’s ‘pretty cool’ at 6:43 pm ET
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Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said he was very happy for his players Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett to make the All-Star team. Before Friday’s game with the Bulls at TD Garden, Rivers said both were very worthy and deserving.

“I think it’s great,” Rivers said. “I think they both deserve it. It’s something Rondo, at this point of his life and age, really wants to do and make and probably Kevin wants the honor of it, especially with the fact Kevin didn’t make it last year and to make it this year is pretty cool.”

Rivers laughed when told that TNT NBA TV analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal said Garnett didn’t deserve to be starting on the Eastern squad in place of Tyson Chandler.

“I’ll let them talk,” Rivers added. “That’s fine. Kevin’s on it, right? That’s all that matters. There’s a lot of people that disagree with them.”

Rondo indicated before the game that he will target Garnett during the game in Houston, trying to feed him plenty of lobs to get him in the offense.

Read More: Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, NBA, NBA All-Star Game
Austin Rivers wouldn’t rule out Celtics in future 01.17.13 at 1:53 am ET
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For the Celtics, facing the boy they watched grow into a top-10 NBA draft pick during his dad’s nine seasons in Boston, it was weird to finally see Austin Rivers looking back at them on the parquet in a Hornets uniform.

“It’s just a strange dynamic,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers after losing to his son, 90-78. “I didn’t enjoy it, honestly. I know it’s neat for everyone else, but as a father, I don’t know if I enjoyed that.’€

“It was strange for everybody in here,” added Kevin Garnett. “If we didn’€™t feel old [before], we feel a little old [now], obviously, seeing a little kid that used to say absolutely nothing, dribble his ball and kind of be in his own little world to being a young man now in the league, trying to make something of himself, doing a good job of it, talking trash, running up and down, leading his team. It’s good. It’s good to see Austin doing real good.”

Garnett might have wanted to seem do a little worse, actually, since Austin’s eight points on 3-of-6 field goals — including a running layup during their momentum-stealing run in the second quarter — marked his best scoring and shooting night this month. His 23 minutes were more than he played in his previous three games combined.

Maybe that’s why it was the 20-year-old Rivers who felt the most comfortable in such a strange situation.

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Read More: Austin Rivers, Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA
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