Celtics

Austin Rivers draws inspiration from Doc's coaching struggles

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Austin Rivers draws inspiration from Doc's coaching struggles

BOSTON -- Just one season before Doc Rivers was splashed with a championship-celebratory bucket of Gatorade, the head coach had been verbally splashed with insults and jeers as the Boston Celtics struggled to find a win.
Austin Rivers remembers it all.
Doc's second son was in high school when the Celtics failed to the make the playoffs during the 2005-06 season. He was still a teenager the following year when the Celtics lost 18 in a row.
Disgruntled fans pointed fingers at his father.
So when the Celtics overhauled their roster and won the title 14 months after the conclusion of a 24-win season, Austin experienced a moment with Doc he will never forget.
When they won versus (the) LA (Lakers), I saw the emotion on my dad's face," Austin, now 20, said. "That was probably one of the happiest times I've ever felt for someone else."
Austin returned to the T.D. Garden on Wednesday, this time as a player instead of a spectator. The New Orleans Hornets rookie looked back on his most memorable moment in the building, the instance in when Doc could smile after years frustration and disappointment.
"I was so proud and so happy just because I've seen my father go through season where hes only won 15 games, 20 games," said Austin. "And Ive seen people come to the stands saying, Fire Doc.'"
Austin can relate to the latter emotions, currently going through a first-year learning curve himself. The 10th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft entered Wednesday's game averaging just 6.2 points, 2.4 assists, and 2.1 rebounds per game. His minutes have decreased since his freshman (and only) season at Duke University, and he has yet to develop consistency.
"You want to talk about a tough time? You think Im having a tough time?" Austin said. "My fathers gone through stuff 100 times worse, and look where hes at now. To have someone in my corner who has been through all that, I know if he can do it, I've got to work hard and I can do it, too."
Playing against his father, Austin scored eight points in 23 minutes. After watching Doc persevere, he won't stop there.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics back in win column

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics back in win column

0:41 - The Celtics returned to their winning ways with a 118-103 victory over the Orlando Magic. Tom Giles, Phil Perry and Rob “Hardy” Poole break down the win.

6:58 - Tom Giles and Hardy discuss the Bruins’ four-game winning streak and how the success of Anton Khudobin has helped keep the team afloat.

11:39 - Is the Patriots' Week 12 matchup with the Dolphins a trap game? Tom Giles, Phil Perry and Hardy discuss where Miami ranks among NFL teams and how the Patriots should approach the game.

17:07 - With Black Friday upon us, the Boston Sports Tonight crew discusses what big-ticket item they would choose to buy for any Boston sports team. 

 

Morris out, Brown questionable for Pacers game Saturday

Morris out, Brown questionable for Pacers game Saturday

BOSTON – Boston made strengthening their depth at the wing position a priority during the offseason.

Well, that depth will be put to the test with the possibility of at least one and maybe two of their top wing players being out for Saturday’s game at Indiana.

Shortly after Boston’s 118-103 win over Orlando on Friday night, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens announced that Marcus Morris (left knee) would not travel with the team for Saturday’s game against the Pacers.

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Also, Jaylen Brown will be attending the funeral of his best friend (Trevin Steede) in Georgia on Saturday and isn’t sure if he’ll be back with the team in time for Saturday’s game.

“My intention is to make it back. If I can, I’ll definitely be playing,” Brown said. “But we’ll see.”

The absence of Brown would be a huge blow for the Celtics.

Boston only returned four players from last season’s team, none of whom have improved their overall game as much as Brown did during the offseason.

He came into the season focused on being a lock-down defender.

But Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury was a game-changer for all the Celtics, including Brown.

Not only would Brown be charged with being an elite defender, but Boston now needed the second-year wing player to become more of a scoring threat.

And to Brown’s credit, he has risen to the challenge.

In 20 games (all starts) this season, Brown has averaged 15.9 points per game which is second on the team to Kyrie Irving (22.9). In addition, Brown’s defense has been among the keys to Boston’s 17-3 start which is the best record in the NBA thus far this season.

His defensive rating of 95.0 is fifth among players to appear in at least 10 games this season, and tops among all second-year players. And of the four players ahead of him, two – Aron Baynes and Marcus Smart – are teammates.

But just like the Celtics gave Isaiah Thomas all the time he needed in dealing with the death of his sister right before the playoffs last season, a similar approach has been taken with Brown which he is admittedly appreciative of the organization for doing.

“Brad (Stevens) has been great in this process,” Brown said. “Just somebody to talk to, allowing me to deal with it in the best way our family and their family feels we can deal with it. He’s been great; we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I can make it to Indiana; if not, I just have to re-group with my family and I’ll see you guys next game (against Detroit on Monday).”

While there's a chance that Brown will play against Indiana, the same can not be said for Morris who is definitely out.

Morris, who missed the first eight games of the season with left knee soreness, has been on a minutes restriction all season in addition to not being allowed to play in back-to-back games.

Following Friday’s game, Morris said the knee feels good but he understands the need to be cautious.

“It’s frustrating,” said Morris who acknowledged the decision was made by the coaching and medical staff. “I’m a competitor, so I want to be out there.”

He added, “Like I said, at this point I pretty much don’t have control over it when I’m playing. It’s a long season. I just want to be ready for June.”

With Morris out and Brown potentially out as well, the Celtics will be extremely thin and inexperienced at the wing position. Look for Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes to be in the starting lineup if Brown is out along with Morris.

Also, Stevens will likely use Terry Rozier and first-year forward Semi Ojeleye more in addition to increased spot-duty for another rookie, Abdel Nader. On Friday, Rozier had a career-high 23 points while Ojeleye and Nader had seven and three points, respectively.

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