With the quick exit of the Celtics this post season many people suggested that the loss of Kendrick Perkins caused problems in the locker room. Something I was never really sure about simply because of Doc Rivers ability to create a “team concept.” Obviously it didn’t help the chemistry but if there’s a coach in the league that can make magic with locker room chemistry Doc Rivers is at the top of that list.
Interesting interview where Doc reveals that the real problem with the early exit wasn’t the locker room or “cohesion” of the group, but the on-court loss of a familiar player and the absence of his intended replacement. The Celtics pulled the trigger on the trade with the confidence that Shaq was gonna be ready come playoff time. Just is always a pleasure listening to Doc Rivers talk about the on court and off court chemistry.
This weekend we got a victory after holding our opponent to 12 first half points en route to a 32-12 half time lead and a 65-52 victory. But as we headed into the locker room I knew it was not going to be a walk in the park. Playing great in the first half is a great feeling for a coach and a team, but also a very dangerous one. If you play the first half at a high level the players (and coaches) have a tendency to get a little complacent and take the gas off the pedal a little bit. And usually the other team is a little pissed off and comes out motivated (or they lay down). But if you take the foot off the gas and the other team takes it to heart, this is a recipe for disaster. Disaster didn’t strike in our game but they did get the lead to single digits midway through the 4th quarter before we finally pulled away.
Wether on O or on D a great half is tough to follow. Hoop is a game of flows and runs and what goes up comes back down. However an experienced coach like Doc Rivers was able to follow up a half in which they let up just 22 points to the Bucks with another stellar half and set a franchise record for allowing just 56 points in a win last night against the Bucks.
The Celtics were able to follow up a great half with another great half last night against the Bucks. A real sign that Doc Rivers knows how to keep his guys focused and motivated.
As I’ve said in previous posts. The moment that seems most calm is often the most dangerous moment.
As 2010 finishes I wanted to take a moment and look back at a few of the memorable moments from 2010.
Butler Bulldogs : Anything is Possible
Coach Brad Stevens led the Butler Bullbogs on a historic run through the NCAA tournament and captured the basketball world by guiding the Butler Bulldogs to an improbable appearance in the NCAA Championship game. They went blow for blow with Duke in basketballs best rendition of David vs Goliath and if the dreamers ever needed more inspiration they got it. Anything is possible: in any situation or game the outcome is never a guaruntee so compete until it’s all over because you can always win.
The “B Team”
USA brought their “B Team” and won a hard fought gold medal in Turkey, the first World Championhsip for the States since 1994. I’m not sure if there was ever a more clear cut example of the expression “Offense wins games (Lithuania, Serbia) but Defense wins Championships (USA, Turkey).” Without a doubt the two best defensive teams played in the final. Coach K also showed that if you know how to coach, you know how to coach. It can be kids, adults, pros, amateurs. If you can coach, you can coach.
My friends dad would say referring to a baseball player’s ability to move up from one league to the next in professional baseball: “If you can hit, you can hit.” Coach K showed us that it doesn’t matter the age, If you can coach, you can coach.
Living in Spain it was fun and exciting to watch Spain win their first ever World Cup Championship. Of course led by the players from F.C. Barcelona. Sport is sport and I love sports. It would be hard to argue that there is a more followed sporting event than the World Cup in soccer. It unifies people all over the globe like no other event and gives everybody a chance to “escape” their daily lives and root for their country. Hopefully one day basketball can hold an event that can compare to the World Cup. Nevertheless Spain was a very eserving champion and sure knew how to celebrate their victory!
Could the 2012 Olympics bring basketball to the worldwide level that the World Cup does every four years?
Other than the outcome of the series (as a Warriors fan who has spent too much time around Laker fans I would have preferred any team but the Lakers to have won the title). That being said the series was a classic that had everything. Absolutely everything and watching these superstars, both the players and the hall of fame staffs on each bench for 7 games was a pleasure. This was a series to be remembered and my favorite game was game 2 and watching a legendary shooter have a career best night was fun to watch.
Doc Rivers called a timeout with about a minute and a half left just in time to save a turnover. What a call, I mean who else makes that call in the NBA? Tonight he had a direct impact not only on the tactical adjustments that made a huge difference but on the play to play…and on a huge play.