Boston Celtics Doc Rivers Made Critical Errors In Loss

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!!!!!

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  • Don

    Totally agree with this story. I love doc, but he has a problem letting the up and comers into the rotation. Putting Ray right back in even if Avery wasn’t on a roll was questionable. Ray is clearly rusty right now.

    I don’t know what’s going on with Paul and the end of game plays, but clearly everyone has decided paul gets to walk it up at the end. Rondo driving and shooting or passing out to the open man was super effective in this game, but in the end they went with a low percentage fall away buzzer beater? Even Rondo can make one foul shot. He definitely should have driven to the hoop. Very frustrating to watch these end of game scenarios play out when everyone defers to Paul and the opposing team knows exactly what it has to do to win.

  • DJ Colantonio

    I agree that Ray Allen should come off the bench now that he’s back. The Spurs have allowed Manu Ginobili to play with their second unit (after making the same mistake Doc made) and he is thriving. He is a leader who can get his own shot, and gives the second unit a true scorer.

    If Ray were to come off the bench the Celts would have much more scoring power when Paul and KG come off the floor. And you’re right, Avery Bradley plays much better when he is surrounded by leaders, is allowed to cut to the basket for a dish from Rondo, and the pressure is off. He’s a great defensive player, and his athleticism on offense is a great bonus right now.

    Not to mention, Ray can always play later in the game with the starters, especially as they need his scoring down the stretch.

    Let’s hope Doc makes the adjustment.