Celtics

Adjustments a team affair for Celtics

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Adjustments a team affair for Celtics

WALTHAM -- During a timeout in Game 3, Marquis Daniels pulled Doc Rivers aside and spoke into his ear as the coach listened over the noise of the crowd.

Rivers has an open communication policy with his players, welcoming any advice or suggestions they have in games, practice, or whenever an idea hits them.

I listen to my players, Rivers said on Saturday. They are the ones on the floor, honestly. I can only see so much, and so can my staff. I talk to them all either right before the game or after the game, rather, and tomorrow morning. Some will text. We have an open communication.

With that open line of conversation comes in-game adjustments. Depending on matchups or trends in the game, the Celtics could have to change their strategy at any point in the night.

Take the reaction to the Miami Heats small lineup in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals as an example. The Celtics began feeding the ball to Kevin Garnett and they successfully exploited the size difference, cutting the Heat's series lead to 2-1.

The C's have confidence in their coach to make the necessary changes for a win.

That's what he gets paid for, joked Rajon Rondo, before adding on a more serious note, You look at his resume. Doc, with this team, he's been pretty successful the last four or five years. He's a great coach. He knows what he's doing. He's being paid the big bucks. He's showing up to work every day and making adjustments. I'm biased, but I think he's the best coach in the league.

With all of his success as a head coach, Rivers continues to take his players feedback into consideration.

I always kid them, he smiled. I usually say, When you want to make an adjustment, it's usually because your guy is kicking your butt, so you want to try to change the coverage somehow. And I joke and say, Only team adjustments will we make, not individual adjustments. We laugh about that a lot.

The solution for Celtics? Play better down the stretch

The solution for Celtics? Play better down the stretch

BOSTON – If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Brad Stevens in his time as Celtics coach, it’s that he’s not about that sugarcoating life.
 
When it comes to his team, he’s about as transparent a coach as you will find in the NBA.

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So, when he says his team has been outplayed in both of its first two games, he’s not doing it as some stealth rallying cry.
 
He’s doing it because it’s where they are at this moment.
 
“So, whatever that’s attributable to, we’ve got to fix it, we’ve got to be better at it, regardless of when it is,” Stevens said.
 
Boston will get another crack at it on Friday night against a Philadelphia squad that, like the Celtics, is also searching for its first win of the season.
 
Struggling to win games is something the Sixers have grown accustomed to in recent years.
 
But the Celtics have been on an upward trajectory every year under Stevens’ watch. And while it’s far too soon to panic over their start, players understand that change must come about soon if they are to get on the right track and have the kind of season they envision for themselves as a group.
 
“Brad’s right, we have a lot of plays to clean up and a lot of stuff to get better at, but that’s’ the beauty of it,” said Jaylen Brown. “We got a really good group and a lot of young guys – we’re going to move forward and take that challenge. We’re going to win some games; we’re going to win a lot of games here in Boston.”
 
But doing so won’t be easy, not with the Celtics still trying to find the best way to move forward following Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury that may keep him out for the remainder of this season.
 
The Celtics have led in the fourth quarter of both losses before eventually failing to make the necessary plays down the stretch to ensure victory.
 
Some of that has to do with the unfamiliarity - not a surprise when you add 10 new players to the mix in one offseason. Another contributing factor is, because of injuries, there are players elevated to more prominent roles who were otherwise seen as simply depth additions at the end of the bench.
 
Whatever the reasons may be, the bottom line is clear: the Celtics have played two games where they were outplayed enough to lose. 
 
“I don’t want to make the excuse that we’re a young team, but we are,” said Kyrie Irving. “We have some experience here and we have to utilize that and continue to exude confidence in young guys and ourselves and understand the game comes in waves. There are going to be ups and downs. We have to be able to withstand other team’s runs as well as hit back and have that hit-first mentality in the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter and fourth quarter. Once we start understanding we have to put a complete game together, myself being at the head of the ball and being better with it and putting guys in the right spots, we’ll be fine.”