Celtics

Doc Rivers says he’d have quit coaching if he didn’t win title with 2008 Celtics

Doc Rivers says he’d have quit coaching if he didn’t win title with 2008 Celtics

Ex-Celtics coach Doc Rivers, now coach of the Clippers, in an interview with ESPN’s The Undefeated, looked back at his time in Boston as the 10th anniversary of the NBA title season approaches.

Rivers said that if he hadn’t been able to win a championship in 2008, he probably would’ve quit coaching.

“…Honestly, without that, I probably wouldn’t be coaching. I probably would have stopped,” Rivers told The Undefeated’s Marc Spears. “The fact that I realized how hard it is and how tough the chase is, I swear it’s the only reason I coach. I love the chase. I want to get there…”

The Celtics’ Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were, of course, the catalysts behind the title team. Allen has now famously been ostracized by KG and Pierce for his departure to the Miami Heat in 2012. Rivers was asked if the relationship can be repaired.

Said Rivers: “The Ray thing? I don’t know. I think it will [heal]. At the end of the day, that team was as close of a group of any I have ever been around.

“So, when one leaves, it hurts your feelings. I think that’s what happened with our guys. Ray’s a terrific guy. We all know that. The guys that are with him are terrific. It will get back.”

Rivers said he’s tried to help mend fences.

“Yeah. I’ve tried to, slowly,” he told Spears. “But I think the time will help them get back together. Well, at least I’m hoping. So far, unsuccessfully. But I do think it will happen.”

Rivers said in retrospect, the Celtics allowed too many members of the supporting cast from 2008 to get away too quickly.

“…The thing I liked most about that team was, well, Kevin, Paul [Pierce] and Ray Allen were phenomenal, but if you look at that team, they had a bunch of instigator tough guys. Tony Allen, Leon Powe to [Big] Baby [Glen Davis] to Perk [Kendrick Perkins], James Posey. That team was built to win.

“The only mistake was after that year we allowed too many of them to go. We kept changing. That 2010 [NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers] is something that we will think about forever. Perk going down in Game 6. Losing Game 7 was tough for us.”

Little things prove costly for Celtics as streak comes to an end

Little things prove costly for Celtics as streak comes to an end

When you reflect upon Boston’s 16-game winning streak which came to an end with Miami’s 104-98 win on Wednesday, there were moments in just about every game that played a major factor in their success.

So it was only fitting that in the Miami loss, it would be a whole lot of little things that ultimately brought the fourth-longest winning streak in franchise history to a screeching halt.

  • Al Horford missed a pair of free throws.
  • Marcus Smart split a pair that had he made both, would have tied the game up in the fourth quarter.
  • Jayson Tatum had his only turnover of the game, in the fourth.
  • Terry Rozier had a rebound that he could not corral and bounced off his hands out of bounds.

And that doesn’t even factor in the missed open shots and unforced turnovers that collectively played a major role in Boston’s winning streak being a thing of the past now.

“I turned it over, we missed some free throws . . . we had some unfortunate things happen,” Tatum told reporters following the loss.

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Even with the loss, the Celtics (16-3) still boast the best record in the NBA.

Kyrie Irving has elevated his all-around play to a level to where he’s legitimately in the conversation as a league MVP candidate.

Jayson Tatum has established himself as one of the league’s top rookies from his draft class.

“As you could see, they kept hitting us, hitting us, until we were knocked out,” Irving said. “They deserved that win tonight.”

Disappointed with the loss, but it was not at all surprising to head coach Brad Stevens who has been raising concerns about his team’s attention to detail for the past few games and sensed it would catch up to them sooner or later.

“I told you, we’re not as good as the 16-game win streak,” Stevens said. “But we do have a lot of resolve. I can’t say enough about our guy’s will to come back. It’s incredible we were able to erase that lead that quickly and give ourselves a chance.”

Indeed, the Celtics rallied from a double-digit deficit to come within a single point in the fourth quarter. But unlike previous games, Boston couldn’t find a path to victory.

“We’re just going to continue to learn and continue to get better,” Irving said. “It’s the same things echoed when we were winning. Just continue to get better and understand, there’s still a lot for us to accomplish going forward.

He added, “It was a good streak, and it’s finally come to an end.”

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Stars, studs and duds: Bounce is real for Waiters, Heat

Stars, studs and duds: Bounce is real for Waiters, Heat

The bounce is real.

No, I’m not talking about Kelly Olynyk’s hops.

I’m talking about that late-game shot made by Dion Waiters that was among the many big plays made by the Miami Heat in handing Boston a 104-98 loss which snapped the Celtics’ 16-game winning streak.

After Marcus Smart split a pair of free throws that cut Miami’s lead to 91-90, Waiters pulled up for a 3-pointer that hit the top of the backboard, took a high bounce and dropped through the net to make it a 94-90 game with 2:56 to play.

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Just 22 seconds later, Al Horford – an 83.8 percent free throw shooter – missed a pair of free throws that was soon followed by another 3-pointer from Waiters.

“They were terrific tonight,” Boston’s Brad Stevens told NBC Sports Boston’s Kyle Draper following the game. “Miami played with incredible pace, with their ability to drive the ball, I thought they put us on our heels most of the night. No question, they deserved to win the game. Maybe that’s why they got the big bounce (on Waiters’ 3-pointer with 2:56 to play) and that kind of separated it as we were coming back.”

Said Al Horford: “Our group, we kept fighting, we kept pushing each other. We have to give the Heat credit. They did what they needed to do, they stuck it out and they beat us.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 104-98 loss to the Miami Heat which snapped Boston’s 16-game winning streak as well as ended Boston’s eight-game winning streak over the Heat.

 

STARS

Dion Waiters

On the heels of his worst game as a pro (he was 0-for-10 in loss to Indiana on Sunday), Waiters was the difference-maker above all others on Wednesday. He finished with 26 points which included a team-best eight points in the fourth quarter.

Jayson Tatum

He didn’t lead the Celtics in scoring, but he was very impressive with his play in the second half to bring Boston within striking distance in the fourth quarter. He had 18 points and seven rebounds along with four assists.

 

STUDS

Goran Dragic

While Waiters closed out the win for Miami with a strong fourth quarter, Dragic put the Heat in position for the win with a strong game most of the night. He would finish with a game-high 27 points. He also had five rebounds and four assists.

Kyrie Irving

Irving came up with a slew of late-game baskets to keep hope alive that the Celtics could once again rally from a double-digit deficit and win. Even though he and the Celtics came up short, Irving still tallied a team-high 23 points and did so on an efficient 11-for-22 shooting night.

 

DUDS

Al Horford

It was a rough night shooting the ball for Horford who had X points on 3-for-10 shooting. He wasn’t any better from the free throw line while missing both of his free throw attempts in the fourth.

Celtics bench

There were signs of improvement with Marcus Morris (14 points) playing with the second unit, but this unit continues to struggle when it comes to making shots. For the game, Boston’s backups shot 9-for-28 (32.1 percent).

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