David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Can you hear me now?
Doc has tried every trick in the book to motivate these guys and it isn't working. He's coaching them up the best he knows how, and it isn't sinking in. This isn't about pointing fingers, this isn't about scapegoating, there's plenty of blame pie to go around the table. But at some point you have to wonder if the players have tuned Doc Rivers out and if they'll ever really tune back in.
For his part Doc's putting the best spin on it that he can.
This is not a problem for him. "It’s not," he said. "It really isn’t. I never take it personally. I always view a team the way I think the team should be, and I’m going to try to get them there, and that’s my job. You think of it, we’ve had several years like this, and then we’ve gotten it. But then we’ve had some when we haven’t gotten it. To me, it’s part of coaching. "It’s great when you don’t have to go through anything. In 2008, nothing. It was just a godsend. But they got it, early. You think of Miami two years ago, they didn’t get it. It was the same talent, but they didn’t get it. It really took them all year to get it. That’s just the way it is."
Will they "get it" soon enough to turn the season around? Is it already too late? Troubling questions for a team in turmoil.
For the record, I don't think the problem is Doc Rivers. If the players have tuned him out, that's on them. Firing the coach may be the easiest thing to do, but that doesn't make it the right choice, or even an effective one.