By now, you've heard or read Doc's quote. But if you need a refresher, here it is.
"I gotta either find the right combination or the right guys, or we're going to get some guys out of here," said a visibly upset Rivers after the Celtics lost their third straight game. "That's the bottom line. This group right now, they're 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're not getting to each other."
That's all I hear when I read that. To put this into proper perspective, think back to the last time Doc made a statement like this. Wait, I can't think of a time. Maybe I'm missing something but I honestly can't remember one.
Last year, according to reports, Ainge was very close to trading Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. In the past we know that Danny has at least entertained trade discussions for Rajon Rondo. In fact, it was widely hinted that some of the trade talks involving Rondo were used to motivate him to perform more consistently. But through it all, Doc has been a positive, optimistic, rally the troops guy that put his best foot forward and trusted the team to follow suit.
Somehow, this team has found Doc's last straw and broke the proverbial camel's back. Enough is enough. Changes are coming. Lineup changes appear to be a given. But that's been done before and has only had short term benefits.
Bottom line: from my perspective, this can only mean that personnel changes a certainty at this point. Or as close to it as you can get. Doc and Danny work very closely with each other. Doc doesn't pop off like this without knowing what Danny is working on. Just like Danny doesn't make statements about the rotation without knowing exactly what Doc is thinking.
It isn't as if Danny was only making trade proposals during the 5 game losing streak and all of a sudden stopped when they won 6 in a row and now will start picking up the phone again. I have to assume he's had irons in the fire all year long. Some weeks they burn hotter than others depending on each team's situation, and sometimes one iron gets taken out in favor of another one. But they are always there.
For example, I guarantee you that they've got at least one or two (maybe more) standing offers from other teams. Not "no brainer" type moves. More like lateral moves. Ones where you wouldn't make the trade when things are going well because you might risk upsetting the chemistry of the ball club. Also, they are trades you want to hold off on if you think you can use those same assets to land a bigger fish.
But the equation changes a bit when changing the culture might be a good thing. in fact, it might be just what the Doctor ordered. Furthermore, the more you wait, the further you might slip in the standings. Slip far enough and the conversations flip from "buying" to "selling." So it might behoove the Celtics to make a move sooner rather than later as a last ditch effort to turn things around and compete for one last run with this core group.
So the winds of change are blowing and it would appear that it is only a matter of time before they knock over a domino or two. Will that make things fall into place or will it just fall apart? We'll see.