Monday, May 12, 2008

Glenn Rivers Tells Playoff Basketball To Go Fuck Itself

You'll have to excuse me, I'm a little angry right now. The Celtics lost to the Cavs tonight 88-77, in Cleveland (surprise!), and, well, we've got a fucking problem. The Celtics are now 0-5 on the road so far, and if you're even tempted to point out that the C's could win a title by only winning at home please go find some sort of ESPN SportsNation message board upon which to ply your considerable intellectual wares. Come on, folks, something is absolutely wrong with this team: over the past three weeks we've lost half as many road games as we lost during the entire regular season. To quote the immortal Pogo, we have met the enemy, and he is us.

Specifically, he's Glenn Rivers, the very coach we've been giving an amiably free pass to for much of the 2007-2008 season thus far. I'm not sure what Coach Rivers is up to, but the Celtics were outscored 20-12 in the fourth quarter tonight, and nothing seemed more apparent than a need for some sort of offensive strategy. The defense, for its part, was outstanding; we did NOT lose this game because of anything the Cavs did. We lost this game because of things that we didn't do, namely score baskets when it counted. We ran pick-and-rolls around Rondo and P.J. Brown; we saw Sam Cassell miss basket after basket; we saw Kevin Garnett look increasingly bewildered and helpless due to the incredibly unfair offensive burden that was casually strapped to his back. AND NOTHING WAS DONE ABOUT IT. We rolled over and died, as if this sort of defeat was somehow inevitable. Once again, I'm angry, but let's talk this over a bit.

First, Leon Powe played six minutes tonight. SIX. P.J. Brown played 23. This isn't to take anything away from P.J., who actually had a fairly nice little game, (8 pts, 6 boards), but why would you yank things around like that? Everyone knows Leon is an up-and-coming energy guy who makes things happen; everyone knows P.J. Brown is a solid free-agent pickup that Glenn spontaneously decided to play 23 minutes during a road game all of a sudden. Even though that had never happened in the regular season. Awesome.

Second, Ray Allen took 10 shots tonight and hit 4 of them. He seemed to be starting to come out of his little shell, gaining confidence and whatnot. He's a really awesome shooter, in case you haven't heard. In fact, we traded a whole bunch of guys for him--a surprising amount of which are now playing for the Cavs, I'd add--to get this guy, and he shot four less shots than Rondo. I'll repeat that: we have one of the NBA's best scorers on our team, and our second-year point guard got more looks.

Look, Glenn Rivers is fucking shit up. I don't know how else to say it. I really don't. This should be the year, but if they realize that then it's up to them.


wharper said...

Fully agreed about the onus being on Doc.

When games get close and tight, coaching decisions loom large. I'd be curious to see a breakdown of the Cs season record in relation to the point differential.

How many games did we wrestle back from another team this year, as opposed to coasting on a gargantuan 3rd quarter lead? How many were on the road?

Doc is horrendous at calling timeouts to break up the other team's runs. Also, I think he needs to shoulder some blame for the Cs scoring ability running dry during those stretches - somehow they end up resulting in quick jump shots (with little rebounding) rather than banging the ball down low and at minimum getting to the foul line. (ahem POWE ahem)

PJ Brown has actually impressed me during this series, for the first time since he became a Celt. I thought he did a good job on Z (the only player on the court who was scoring) during the second quarter of game 1, and was surprised when he didn't draw the same assignment later in the game.

Tonight PJ played like a vet, and in my opinion, was not the most glaring substitution by Doc. Instead, that title goes to BIG BABY STARTING THE FOURTH QUARTER WHEN WE'RE DOWN BY THREE???

For me, that's the biggest WTF move by Doc tonight. Doc may be a good 'clubhouse' coach, but I fear that his strategic ability seems far closer to Isaiah's than any of us Cs fans would like to admit.

Ugly, ugly stuff.

Anonymous said...

The thing that really surprises me about this loss along with the other losses in the playoffs is the lack of production in the fourth quarter by the big three (especially with this game). It's fun to watch KG go completely crazy when the Celtics are up by 20, but why can't he get that kind of energy in a close game? And yeah, Glenn sucks. I just don't think he has any control over the players. There is all these emotional dudes on the team, and a good coach would be able to get the players to calm down and focus.

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