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Forget seedings, Doc just wants his team planted in the playoffs.
A coach's first instinct is always to look for the win. However, keeping the long view of the season is a good idea with a team so reliant upon a few older veterans.
"Listen we’re not going to be a 1 seed, we know that, so we just want to be a seed," Rivers said before Friday's game in Phoenix, acknowledging that a road-heavy schedule (18 of Boston's 30 games after the All-Star break are on the road) makes climbing the Eastern Conference playoff ladder all the more difficult.
Doc was quick to point out that the Celtics aren't that far out of the 5th seed. So you'd imagine that he'd want to win more games than not. It just can't be at the expense of his veterans.
Speaking of those veterans, Kevin Garnett was uncharacteristically fine with taking a game off. Which must mean he's about to collapse of exhaustion or something.
"Rest is always good," Garnett said. "It’s not my preference. It’s not my first preference. You know, I’m an old school kind of guy. I always like to play through things, and I’ve always been a person that’s been taught to play 82 games. I don’t now; it’s my makeup. "In this situation, it was probably needed. I can tell that from my free throws. I’m a leg guy when it comes to free throws. That’s how I gauge a lot of things. Me missing free throws is not unusual, but in the early parts of the game when I’m taking them and I’m missing them, you know, it just says little things. So Doc recognized that, and in this situation, I wasn’t opposed to it."
This is the new narrative from here on out folks. Rest over record. How many wins can we squeak out without getting the maximum effort from Pierce, Garnett, and Terry? The new box score watching will involve looking at minutes first, and then worrying about points, rebounds, assists, and whatnot.
We'll need more step up performances from Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, and the bench crew. We'll get to know the new guys better and better. But the most important thing is to get the vets some rest without sacrificing the playoffs in the process.