Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Just when you thought the team had turned a corner, Boston has now lost three in a row and are back to .500.
Doc said the team is playing awful #celtics— gary washburn (@GwashNBAGlobe) January 21, 2013
Doc Rivers: "I gotta either find the right combination, the right guys, or we’re going to get some guys out of here. It’s the bottom line."— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) January 21, 2013
Those are strong quotes coming from a coach that's usually pretty level headed. I can't remember a time that he's threatened trades, so this is getting pretty serious. If you check out tonight's box score, you can see who he might be talking about: Brandon Bass played only ten minutes and was 0-for-3 from the floor while Jason Terry was on the floor for 14 and scored only 4 points. Could Doc be targeting Rondo? RR was equal parts brilliant with 15 assists and awful with 9 turnovers. On the bright side, Avery Bradley toughed out his rib injury and Courtney Lee has been playing well during the losing streak, but this is clearly a day of reckoning for the team. Here's Doc's tirade during the press conference:
"[The start of game] was awful, we are playing awful. I'm clear not doing my job with this team. And I'm serious, I'm not trying to take a bullet for the team. And I told them that. I said, ‘We got to find something where every night, all 12 guys play the same way.' We did it for three games in a stretch. I told them that games 4 and 5 in that [six-game] winning streak were garbage; We just won the game. I gotta figure that out. I told the guys that, I gotta figure it out. Because I don't think the guys are honest with each other. I just don't think we have committed to being a good basketball team.
"I think this team wants everything easy. They want the easy way out. They want to win easy. And I told them the only way you're going to win easy is your going to have to play hard. The harder you play, the easier the games become. We're taking the wrong approach. I gotta either find the right combination, the right guys, or we're going to get some guys out of here. It's the bottom line. Because this group right now, they are not playing right. It's in them to play right. But right now they haven't been -- either because I'm not getting to them, or they are not getting to each other. But at the end of the day, either we gotta do that, or we gotta make changes."
New York, Atlanta, and Miami are on the horizon at the end of next week. It's gut check time.