"I thought they just played harder, they executed, they really worked their sets, their second and third options," Rivers said. "They played more like they've been practicing and working hard. Today we just kind of showed up. I thought we had poor intensity throughout. That's obviously unacceptable."
We'll see how the next couple of games go. For now, I have two thoughts. First, this might be what happens when you have 10+ new players on your roster. Didn't happen in 2007-08, and doesn't have to happen this year. But it is certainly one thing that can happen. May take some time to work through.
"I think some of the players got upset because other guys forgot plays
and didn't know things," he said. "That's a lesson, too. You have to be
able to grind a game. Today we started out OK, the game was kind of
close and then things went wrong and we kind of caved in quick and I
told them that's not a good sign."
The Celtics committed 21 turnovers in losing for the third time
in four games. Rajon Rondo said there will be more urgency over the next
"We just want to use each game to get better, to get our
chemistry together," he said. "Like I said, the main focus is our
communication. Obviously with Kevin missing it was way down and Kevin is
not always going to be there for us so somebody has to pick it up,
including myself. We're not where we want to be but it's not like we're
If panicking is Defcon 1, I would put last night's game at a DEFCON 3. An alarm has been sounded, and a need identified for "increased readiness." The problem I see is slightly different. I don't believe the Celtics think there is any problem that can't be fixed by flipping a switch. Put me in the camp that doesn't see "flip switching" as the answer to last night's game. How do you flip a switch to play at a higher level you've never reached as a team? This may take time.
Brandon Bass is unsure of his status but understands the team's
increased depth and is prepared for any role. Bass is averaging 9 points
this preseason after scoring 11 in Monday's 107-75 loss to the
Philadelphia 76ers and has attempted to use his minutes off the bench to
display his improved arsenal.
"This year I just want to be a better rebounder, that's all,"
said Bass, who averaged a career-high 6.2 boards in 59 games last
Glad Bass wants to rebound more. We'll need it. On the other hand, consider whether Doc's turnstile starting lineups are part of the problem, and, even if you don't think that they are part of the problem, whether such an approach is even feasible when you are trying to get players to settle into a role.
How do you accept and thrive in a role if you don't know whether you are starting or coming off the bench and your role will be changing from night to night and week to week? Maybe you can. It is certainly something to think about.