Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers normally is a coach that I have a hard time second guessing. The man is an elite coach for a reason. The problem is last night’s game against the Spurs left a lot that can be second guessed. These mistakes ultimately cost Boston a win. Granted the team shot themselves in the foot by going 6-13 from the charity stripe in a one point loss, but there was plenty Doc could have done different that might have effected the outcome.
My first issue is Avery Bradley should have started over Ray Allen. Ray has an amazing resume, but the reality is both players are maximized with a shift in roles. This was clearly on display in the first half. Ray struggled most of the night with Daniel Green covering him. This was no big deal with guys like Paul Pierce, KG, and Rajon Rondo carrying the load. The problem was that in the second quarter the offensive look was wretched with a lineup of all bench guys and KG or Pierce. Avery Bradley did not look that great either as the Spurs almost buried Boston early with a double digit deficit while the starters rested. Bradley’s offense is predicated on the players around him. Bradley is just not capable yet of getting the space he needs without the other scorers on the floor. The good news was Doc was at least smart enough to realize that he needed to play Bradley with the starters and the Celtics got back into the game with Bradley cutting to the basket.
My second major issue was the final moments of the game. Why in god’s name was there not a time out earlier? Why in god’s name did he not just let Rondo win or lose the game for him on that possession once too much time had passed for the timeout? The team got into the game with Rondo penetrating and finding guys for open shots. Why not let him finish what he started? Why is every final play Paul Pierce time? Pierce was supposed to cut to the basket with Duncan on him was the play call. How was he going to do that with that little time on the clock?
The bottom line is everyone has a bad game. Last night was Doc’s bad game. I just hope he has better strategy tonight against the top seeded Bulls and old friend Tommy Thibs. If he does not then one can plan on another loss. Remember Go Green Or Go Home!!!!!