8.31.2008

Doc's at it Again


Doc Rivers is The Great Motivator. He began the 2007-08 season pointing a spotlight at the empty space next to where the Celtics first 16 championship banners hung at the team's practice facility. The season ended with Doc announcing before game 6 of the NBA Finals that he didn't just want to win game 6, he wanted to win by 30 (they won by 39).

In between Doc kept the pedal to the metal, preaching Ubuntu, rebounding, and ball movement. Oh yeah, and that one other thing:

He preached D-E-F-E-N-S-E.

Tom Thibodeau deserves lots of credit for devising the Celtics defensive scheme that made them one of the best defenses of all time, and the toughest defense both Dwayne Wade and Tracy McGrady say they have either faced.

But Doc Rivers steered the ship, and without him relentlessly repeating the mantra that defense wins championships, the 2008 Boston Celtics may very well have fallen short of their ultimate goal.

Which brings me to the soup de jour:

Doc Rivers is back, and he's picking up where he left off.

Almost as quickly as Doc learned whom the Celtics had selected with the 30th pick in the first round, he was telling the media that JR Giddens had a chance to earn some meaningful minutes from the git-go.

Why?

D-E-F-E-N-S-E.

Giddens can score the rock from all over the floor, and jump almost as high as David Thompson once did. No matter. All Doc cares about is D.


Danny echoed these sentiments:


"JR has some physical skills that may allow him to be special at defense. He just has to learn our schemes. He's kept himself in good shape."

Same for Patrick O'Bryant.

Doc and Danny both have observed that O'Bryant has "some length" and can do some things "no one else on the team can do."

Those things, of course, relate to his ability to defend. No specifics were given. But my guess is that their hoping he can bring some versatility to the pivot, guarding both mobile and less mobile centers ( we all know how much KG likes to guard centers).

I'm sticking with my 52-54 win projection. But I like our chances of moving into the neighborhood of 58 -60 wins if this team can actually play better D this year than last.

It's possible.

Just look at Detroit's numbers in 2004.

4 comments:

FLCeltsFan said...

I say 60 wins. And defense is more important than breathing. I was very excited to see that Tom Thibodeau is expected back. As long as this team puts defense first, they have a shot at repeating.

Lex said...

"defense is more important than breathing"

--I like this. Maybe you should work with doc on some of his mantras for this year...

FLCeltsFan said...

Six Degrees of Separation.... I got that from the Kevin Bacon movie "The Air Up There" where he plays a college coach and goes to Africa to recruit a kid. While he is teaching the natives to play he comes out with that line and they proceed to hold their breaths and fall over. I think that is my favorite all time movie line LOL.

Lex said...

Missed that movie. Good line though.

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