Doc Rivers has coached the Boston Celtics through some very good times and some bad ones as well, but this year has proven to be Rivers toughest season as head coach. Boston came into this season looking like the only team in the east that could challenge the Miami Heat, but they got off to a slow start as some of the new players struggled to find their role with the team. As the Celtics waited for Avery Bradley to return from shoulder surgery, new players Jason Terry and Courtney Lee were constantly rotating in and out of the starting lineup, and both failed to mesh their gameplay in with the team. Coming off heart surgery, Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox showed flashes, but they lacked the consistency that Doc needed the bench to provide. Things would get so bad that it would lead to Rivers doing some uncharacteristic things like calling out his team and telling them they were soft and even threatening to get guys shipped out if they didn’t change their play on the court. Even through all of this, the Celtics couldn’t get on track and instead went on a seven game losing streak.
Then, came the loss of Rajon Rondo as he would be diagnosed with an ACL tear and miss the rest of the season. Rivers withheld this information as the team prepared to face Miami that day. Even though the Celtics won the game, they had to discover afterwards what they lost that day. Refusing to let his team spirits be down, Doc rallied his players and the team responded by playing its best basketball of the season. Even losing Jared Sullinger in the midst of their winning streak, the Celtics kept up their winning ways. Then, it all came to a halt and the Celtics were falling as they went from having a chance to get the fifth seed in the playoffs to settling in the seventh spot which they barely managed to hold on to. With the Milwaukee Bucks also struggling, the Celtics were able to clinch the seventh seed and avoid seeing the Heat in the first round instead they will face the New York Knicks.
Rivers has always been a coach who has his team ready and focused on the main prize, which is winning another championship. Despite the struggles and injuries, his team has faced he has never once backed down from the challenges presented in front of him. He won’t get any Coach Of The Year votes at the end of this season, but his leadership under this Celtics team won’t go unnoticed either. Doc has been through it all with this team, but he still has managed to get them into the playoffs when many said they wouldn’t make it.