Doc Not Bailing Out The Bench

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Doc Not Bailing Out The Bench

Post by bobheckler on Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:53 pm

WALTHAM -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers is challenging the team's second unit. The Celtics have started the season with a 1-2 record, the minutes of starters Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will not increase in a win-at-all-costs strategy in upcoming games, Rivers said Tuesday.

The Celtics host Washington Wednesday and Philadelphia Friday, then visit Milwaukee Saturday.

"No, I'm not going to let them do more," Rivers said after practice Tuesday. "I'm going to play Kevin about the same amount of minutes.

"(Rajon) Rondo, you can go anywhere. But if we can't win with him off the floor we just won't win. And I told our bench that. We're going to play the minutes that I'm giving them and the bench is going to play the minutes they should get. And they've got to do something or we won't win -- it will be that simple."

MY NOTE: I'm sure this came as a response to a reporter's question like "So, Doc, if the bench continues to struggle will you keep your starters in longer?". What is odd, I suppose, is that Doc said that he told the bench that already. What kind of discussion/attitude/mindset was Doc addressing when he felt he had to tell the bench "no bail out for you"? This is not a sign of health. Let's hope the game tomorrow makes me forget this thread.



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Re: Doc Not Bailing Out The Bench

Post by mrkleen09 on Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:15 pm

Totally disagree Bob. This is Doc's way of throwing down the gauntlet and challenging the bench to step up and get their act together and play as he and we all know they can.

Win or lose - the Celtics have no chance of going anywhere in the post season if KG and Pierce are injured / tired / worn his challenge basically saying, we only have one chance to go anywhere as a team - and that chance involves the bench playing better. So you are going to be thrown out there and forced to play better, or the team is done.

This is not saying the rotation wont be tweaked. It is saying the key players on the second unit (Terry, Green, Bass, Wilcox, Lee - when Bradley returns) are not optional players, they are required if the Celtics are going to win.

Brilliant strategy on Doc's part.


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Re: Doc Not Bailing Out The Bench

Post by Sam on Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:32 pm

Bob and Mrkleen,

I think this is a good thing. I'm willing to bet that none of the bench players has been in a previous situation in which so much was expected from the bench. Sometimes they've played as though they were placeholders, just trying to keep pace while the starters rested. Doc has every right to expect them to exert such pressure on the opponent that they'll gain ground in every game—either extend a lead or forge a lead or come from behind.

There can be times when players, especially in an unfamiliar role or situation, can honestly think they're doing their best when they can really do better. Doc is settling for nothing less.

And, all of Jason's pronouncements notwithstanding, I believe it's a good thing that there's someone like Barbosa in the wings as added impetus. I'm not saying Barbosa would replace Terry, but minutes could be at stake. Same for Lee, knowing that this is the time to demonstrate his value in order to make his role a tough decision for Doc when Bradley returns.

One thing I've learned is that Doc does absolutely nothing without a purpose. (Much like Red in that respect). I think this action had the purpose of inserting a sharp stick in the rear end of players. There have been a number of under-performers, but I focused on Terry and Lee because—in my eyes—they're two prime examples of the gap between what's expected of them and how they've been performing.



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Re: Doc Not Bailing Out The Bench

Post by mulcogiseng on Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:07 pm

Don't be too surprised if this strategy works beautifully. Doc really knows how to motivate his players. The bench has to know that they are the key to #18. Without a good bench, keeping the team in the game until the starters return, we won't win. Without the bench always being ready to do more than just fill in, we won't win. Without individual players being ready to start, do whatever is necessary, we won't win. JT and Lee will get back on track and this is just one more example why Doc is such a great coach. He knows what it takes and he is willing to what he must in order to reach the one and only goal.


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Re: Doc Not Bailing Out The Bench

Post by beat on Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:42 pm


You hit on something that makes sense to me, i'll just run with it a bit further. With all the new players Doc may not only be experimenting "on the court" but also in the 6 inch area between their ears. As much as these players are learning the system Doc is learning what makes them all tic too. What may work for Jet won't for Lee and so on. This part of the equation will take some time for Doc himself to learn.

Just a thought



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