|Doc Rivers on D&C, 10/6||10.06.09 at 11:38 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers appeared on Dennis & Callahan Tuesday morning to discuss the team’s preseason preparations as the C’s get set to play the Houston Rockets in Hidaglo, Texas, on Wednesday night.
Following is a complete transcript. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Do you worry about your guys … when you make a trip like that [to Hidalgo, Texas, on the Mexico border]?
I worry more about [Greg] Dickerson doing it than our players. I’m hoping he actually goes and we can steal his passport so he can’t come back.
No, you do worry about it. Guys like going over and having fun or whatever. We have great guys, and we’ll talk to them about it so you’re not that concerned. But you’d rather [they] not be there, let’s put it that way.
Give us several significant highlights to camp at this point. What are we missing here so far?
I think Rasheed [Wallace] and Marquis Daniels, they really have solidified our bench. It’s a veteran bench, very similar to two years ago. Rasheed’s ability to stretch the floor will be amazing when he plays with [Kendrick Perkins] or Kevin [Garnett], it doesn’t really matter which one he plays with, he still stretches the floor, he has the ability to take 5s out. And Marquis Daniels, he’s really good for our team. He’s a small forward, he plays 2 guard as well. From his position, he can handle the ball, and that frees up Eddie [House]. The old point forward ‘ if you remember the Paul Pressey days in Milwaukee, where he handled the ball, and then Sidney Moncrief and Marques Johnson and those guys came off picks. Well, it will be very similar to us with the second team.
Is Rasheed going to be beloved here in Boston?
Yeah. The one thing we knew about Rasheed was the fact that his teammates that he’s played for loved him. He’s always been a great teammate. He’s one of the more verbal talkers on defense in the league ‘ him and Kevin. And it’s amazing. During camp, I have a lot of college coaches come in and they watch camp. And that’s the one thing they keep saying is ‘ well, there’s two things: “Boy, your bigs have a chance to be really good.” The second thing is, “I’ve never seen a team talk as much on defense, especially Rasheed, Perk and Kevin.” So, those are the things they’ll notice. But they’ll love him. I’m sure there will be a couple of nights where he’ll get into an exchange with someone else in stripes, and we’re going to have to deal with that. But that’s not going to be an issue, in my opinion.
|Doc: I’m not going to overdo it||09.28.09 at 8:50 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Before leaving for Newport, R.I. and a week of getting his team in the right frame of mind to actually put some letters and numbers on the blank banner hanging in the corner of the practice facility, Celtics coach Doc Rivers let the media in on a little secret.
“I think camp is important this year but obviously with Kevin coming back, [joining] Rasheed, Paul, Ray, they’re not spring chickens,” Rivers said. “Perk’s [left] shoulder, Tony’s [right] foot, we’re going to go as hard as we need to but I’m not going to overdo it.”
So, the Celtics all got together on Monday and left for Salve Regina University after meeting their media commitments. Kevin Garnett and his right knee, Rasheed Wallace and his new uniform, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Tony Allen and his right foot and Kendrick Perkins and his left shoulder joined the rest of their teammates to prepare for a run at getting back on top of the NBA world.
But Rivers was clear about one thing – the NBA Finals are played in June and the playoffs begin in April, something that was reinforced in his mind toward the end of last year.
“Listen, we’re going to try and build through the year,” Rivers said. “I’m not going to try and get everything in in camp. I can tell you right now that we’re going to be behind coming out of camp than where we were last year. I’m more concerned with just preserving. I’m not that concerned about it but that’s the way we’re going to do it.”
As for the new faces like Rasheed Wallace, Marquise Daniels and Shelden Williams all fitting in, Rivers said he’ll manage just fine.
“Bottom line is this, everybody is here for one purpose and that’s to win and when you’re together in that way, I don’t think egos are much of a problem,” Rivers said. “If you’re not together in that way, then egos become a problem. If egos become a problem on this team, then we’re not thinking in the right way and that’s the way I look at it.”
And don’t ask about windows of opportunity with this team. There’s only one window the Celtics are trying to keep open in the house.
“I’m just worried about the 2010 window right now,” Rivers said. “Our goal is to win it this year, that’s it. I don’t look at windows with this team. Obviously, this team won’t be the same in 2012 and 2013. I think we’re all smart enough to understand that.”
|Garnett finds way to stay in the game||09.17.09 at 11:18 pm ET|
He seems like the same guy to Doc Rivers.
Well, there is one change.
‘He’s happy, he’s talking more, which I didn’t think was possible,’ Rivers said following the USI Shamrock Classic at the Nashawtuc Country Club in Concord. ‘He’s got his quickness back and he just looks normal again.’
Over the last 14 years, Garnett has developed a reputation as one of the most vocal players in the league. This offseason his words have a different message.
Garnett has been joining his teammates at the Sports Authority Training Center in Waltham as they prepare for training camp. Even though the Celtics forward, who is coming off season-ending knee surgery, has not been cleared for contact drills, he has found his own way to participate during workouts.
‘His presence has been felt. He has been talking more, but you don’t know when he starts playing, maybe he’ll talk less,’ Brian Scalabrine said with a laugh. ‘But he has been leading us in a very instructional kind of way. Before he was like that, but now, like he pulled me aside the other day. He was like, ‘You know, you have to play the game within the game. If you’re trying to get something done later, you want to set it up with something early.’
‘And it helps. I went out there and I did it, and it worked right away. He’s a really intelligent guy.’
|Doc talks Sheed, NBA on WEEI||07.10.09 at 1:44 pm ET|
|Doc laughs off trades on ‘PTI’||06.11.09 at 11:14 pm ET|
PTI: You were in the same situation last year that the Lakers are now. Up 2-1 and you won Game 4 and won the series, so how important is this game to the Lakers?
Rivers: Well it’s important to the Lakers. I think it’s more important to the Magic, obviously. You know the Lakers are looking at this, they would clearly like to win the next two games, but they’re thinking if they win one, they go back home with six and seven to win one, so for them that’s the way they’re thinking. Obviously for Orlando, they just have to try to hold serve at home. I’ve always thought, and I still believe, it’s a disadvantage they have three games in a row at home because when teams are evenly matched, it’s tough to win three games in a row anywhere. And so I do think it’s tougher on Orlando in that way.
PTI: Alright Doc, when all is said and done who do you think is going to win this series and the NBA Championship?
Rivers: You know, I hope neither one wins. I would just like to table it for next year. (Smiles) But now that I know that that can’t happen, I think being in the East, you’re always cheering for the East Coast teams. You don’t want the West to win anything. Having said that, I think the Lakers are the favorite. I just think they’re just so talented and they’ve been there before, so you’ve got to make them the favorite in this series.
PTI: Now let me ask you the hypothetical question that maybe you just alluded to with the beginning of that answer. If Kevin Garnett had not gotten injured, did you like your chances to repeat this year?
Rivers: Yeah I did, but he was and that’s part of the game and so I accept that. There’s times when you watch and you wish you could have had the opportunity to compete with a healthy basketball team. But guys, as you know in sports, injuries are absolutely part of the season and it happens and unfortunately it happens for us. And so to me the two best teams right now are Orlando and the Lakers and they deserve to be there. Next year we hope that’s a different story.
PTI: Doc, Kevin Garnett just had successful surgery and I know you’re hoping he’s going to be back for at least 75 or more games next year. But how did you feel about this guarantee that he was going to be able to lead the Celtics to another title. Is that a check you guys can cash?
Rivers: I love it. (Laughs) I love it. I hope he’s right. I hope it’s not a Patrick Ewing guarantee ‘ I lived through those. No, I love it. I love when players are confident. I think Kevin believes that, he wants that to happen, and so do we. And to me it’s good. I like when players start guaranteeing things. I like it more when they back it up and I’m hoping Kevin can do that.
PTI: I’m just thinking about two summers ago when you guys had the blockbuster move that kept talk radio and our show going for weeks. Are you and Danny (Ainge) plotting anything like that this summer? Do you see your personnel needing to be shuffled in that way?
Rivers: No I don’t, but we’ve got a huge trade we’re going to announce. I’m just joking. There’s no trade coming. (Laughs) No, no we’re good. I like who we are. I think we do have to add some length to our basketball team as well, especially with Leon Powe maybe not coming back for at least til midseason or later. We’ve got to add one more big to our team. Other than that, I love our basketball team, I love our guys, and I think we’ll be in great shape next year.
|Doc Rivers on Dennis & Callahan||05.19.09 at 10:01 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers offered a look back at the 2008-09 season, as well as a look ahead to his team’s needs going forward, during an interview with the Dennis & Callahan Show this morning. He admitted a sense of disappointment that his team did not have the opportunity to pursue another championship without a full complement of players.
‘The only thing that bothers me about the way the postseason ended was, you look at Kevin (Garnett), you look at Leon (Powe) and you just say, ‘Darn’we didn’t have a real chance to defend our title with our best stuff,’’ said Rivers. ‘That’s real tough for a coach and for a team.’
Rivers addressed a number of topics during his interview, including ways in which the Celtics need to improve and his own coaching future. Among them:
WHETHER THE SURGERY ON KEVIN GARNETT’S KNEE MIGHT BE MORE FAR-REACHING THAN PREVIOUSLY SUGGESTED:
I don’t think there will be much more (than reported). I think it will be the strained tendon and the bone spur. What they started thinking at the end was that maybe the bone spur had something to do, maybe it started rubbing against the tendon and that’s what kept it inflamed. But they don’t know that. That’s just an assumption.
ON OTHER INJURIES THAT IMPACTED THE TEAM AND THAT MAY REQUIRE SURGERY
Ray Allen had a hamstring problem throughout the Orlando series that was not getting better. Paul had some bone spurs that may need to be removed as well. (Kendrick Perkins) may have to have a procedure on his shoulder’¦ In Ray’s case, I thought his hamstring was bothering him a lot. That could have had an effect on him (during the Magic series).
ON THE TEAM’S NEED TO ADD DEPTH TO ITS BENCH THIS OFFSEASON
Just think this year if Kevin was healthy and Leon was healthy, that makes our bench 10 deep’¦Those two guys being out really shortened our bench.
But we have to improve our team. There’s no doubt about that. We don’t have to make any changes, but definitely have to make some additions.
No. 1, the one spot no one talked about all year, was the small forward spot. We need a small forward who can defend, who can make shots and give Paul (Pierce) a blow. I thought Paul, all year, had to guard the best guys all game. Whenever we took him out, we went small. We put Ray Allen in at small forward, which is a tough matchup. You could see it in the Orlando series. You were almost scared to take Paul off the floor because when you did, Ray Allen was now guarding the Terkoglus or the Rashard Lewises of the world. They went straight to the post, just like every other team did.
ON THE IMPACT OF KEVIN GARNETT’S DEFENSIVE ABSENCE ON THE REST OF THE TEAM
We didn’t run out of gas in the playoffs. We ran out of gas trying to get to the playoffs in a lot of ways. Every game was different and harder once Kevin left. Our defense suffered. (Rivers noted that opponents averaged 88 points per game against the Celtics last postseason, and 102 points per game this year.) I don’t think much more needs to be said about our defense, and how important Kevin Garnett is.
HOW MANY 15- TO 18-FOOT JUMPERS SHOULD RONDO TAKE THIS OFFSEASON?
He can’t take enough, obviously. I thought the series changed when Orlando decided that they basically weren’t going to play Rondo anymore. It’s very difficult for him to be effective from that point on. Obviously, he did on the rebounding side of things for us, but as far as creating plays, that not only hurt Rondo, but that hurt Paul and Ray as well, because they were using his man to double-team.
That’s a shot he’s going to have to make. We knew that. We knew that two years ago. It made it easier for them to do that because Kevin wasn’t out on the floor. When you have three other shooters out on the floor, it’s not as easy.
DO YOU REASSESS YOUR OWN FUTURE AT THIS TIME OF YEAR?
I do it every year. I have every intention of coming back, but I would be lying to you if I said that every year, I didn’t sit back over the last couple, with the family. We sit back and we think, ‘What do we need to do, and what do I need to do?’ I just try to gauge it on how my kids are doing and if they’re happy. I’m sure there will be a day or some time when I’ll say no, I’ve got to stay and do family things. But I have every intention of coming back.
I love coaching. I see myself coaching a long time. But I also see myself as a coach who will take a break to re-energize. I believe in that. I love, what’s the analogy? A teacher taking a sabbatical and coming back. I clearly will do that someday. In the next two or three years, I think that has to happen. I just think it’s good for a coach to do that. It makes him a better coach.
WHO IS MORE LIKELY TO RETURN: MARBURY OR DAVIS?
Baby, it will probably come down to what he can get on the open market. With Steph, it will probably come down to what we can get on the open market.
WILL TOM THIBODEAU BE BACK?
I hope he’s not back…(The 76ers job) will be a tough one to get. Tom’s not a good guy ‘ he’s a great guy. And he’s a terrific coach. So I’m really pulling for him.
WHO WILL WIN THE TITLE?
I don’t know. Honestly, I can tell you I really don’t care.
|Game 7 pregame: The coaches||05.17.09 at 7:55 pm ET|
It’s always dangerous to try and gauge the mood of teams and coaches pregame and then try to extrapolate some kind of meaning out of that bit of pop psychology. But with that disclaimer out of the way, if Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy’s address to the media before Sunday night’s Game 7 could be be summed up in a word it would be “edgy” while Celtics coach Doc Rivers was a bit more philosophical.
Van Gundy was asked, again, about starting J.J. Redick ahead of Courtney Lee and Van Gundy indicated, again, that there would be no change. “I’m sort of surprised that this has become an issue,” Van Gundy said. “I don’t really understand why that is. Ray (Allen’s) had a tough series. I don’t think anyone is asking Doc why he’s sticking with him.”
Asked about defending Allen, Van Gundy said, “We’ve done a pretty good job of not giving him a lot of open looks and then he’s missed some shots. When you play the great players–Paul Pierce, Ray Allen–that’s the best you can do.” And that was about it from Van Gundy who didn’t care to entertain a handful of big picture type of questions.
Rivers on the other hand was asked if a win would validate the Celtics title defense. “I think our defense has been noble all season,” Rivers said. “That’s for you guys to decide. That’s always for you guys.”
Rivers seemed almost wistful when asked about the difference between last year’s team and this year’s saying, “This has been different. We know who we would like to be, but it just hasn’t worked out that way all the time. We’re still trying to discover who we are.”