Doc Rivers Tells the Celtics to Shape up or Ship Out
Boston sports just cannot get a break lately. The slumping Celtics were chastised by coach Doc Rivers and ordered to shape up or ship out. After an embarrassing loss to the Detroit Pistons, Rivers angrily spoke to his team threatening roster changes if they do not improve.
At 20-20 and 5.5 games out of first, there is no doubt that the Celtics are underperforming. Last season they were given up on yet exceeded all expectations by forcing their way through the playoffs only to lose in a heartbreaking Game 7 versus the Miami Heat. Now, it seems that the team has given up, or at least given in to mediocrity.
Rivers espoused his complaints on Boston.com
“So I gotta figure that out. I don’t think the guys are honest with each other. I just don’t think we have committed to being a good basketball team. I think this team wants everything easy. They want the easy way out. They want to win easy. I told them, the only way you’re going to win easy is you’re gonna have to play hard. The harder you play the easier the games become. We’re taking the approach.” Rivers said.
Could Doc Rivers be right about the Celtics, could they really have thrown in the towel already or are they just facing a rut? The Celtics have quite a few more holes than they have had in the past. Their reliance upon players like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett is worrisome considering their age, and players like Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, and Brandon Bass still have some maturing to do.
While Rivers cannot change the talent of the team, he can spur them on to play harder and fight for a bit more than team pride.
“I gotta either find the right combination, the right guys or we’re going to get some guys out of here,” Doc Rivers said. “It’s the bottom line, because this group right now, they’re not playing right and it’s in them to play right but right now they haven’t been because I’m not getting to them or they’re not getting to each other. Either we gotta do that or we gotta make changes.”
Whether or not Rivers follows through on his threat is to be determined, but the Celtics have immense respect for Doc and will not take this issue lightly. They may not turn it completely around, but the Celtics will play with something other than wins on their mind.