As a fan, I can rationalize the loss last night. Even in the third quarter of the Lakers game where the starters played heavy minutes you could tell that might come back to bite them. As soon as I saw the Raptors game on the schedule for the next day after the overtime I mentally chalked it up as a loss and hoped to be proven wrong. That doesn't make the loss any easier to take, just not surprising.
But that's me the fan. What about the players? Are they thinking of it that way? If they are, Doc isn't happy about it and wants to send that message to everyone.
When asked if the overtime loss Thursday should be considered a factor in last night’s effort, Rivers said, "If you’re mentally weak. If they want to use the overtime [Thursday], then we are not mentally tough enough to be a winner. If you’re tough, you come in and grind this one out and win it, too. If you’re not, you use [Thursday] as an excuse." The Celtics met after the game and one player said it was not a "finger-pointing’’ session but more of a way to hash out some issues and prevent a backslide.
Good. I'm glad they all had a heart to heart. There's some real leaders in that clubhouse and the smart players will listen to them. Nobody wants to let the team down but there's always that temptation to let excuses deter you from doing what you know you should do. Nobody said this season was going to be easy. Nobody said winning happens just because you have a better roster. You have to put aside the excuses and do your job.
Hopefully they got the message.