Doc Rivers On the Lakers Winning the Title: “They still have not beaten our starting five. Our starting five against the Lakers starting five has a ring”

August 23, 2010 – 11:00 am by Chris Fedor

The Miami Heat have gotten all the headlines this offseason and rightfully so. Any time you team up three of the top-15 players in the NBA, you’re going to create a shockwave. However, the team that wears the Eastern Conference crown heading into this season is the Boston Celtics. The Celtics were the team that bounced LeBron James and his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, from the playoffs last year. Also it was the Celtics that took the Lakers to a game seven before losing in the NBA Finals without their starting center. While they were doing that, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James were all on vacation. So while many people are drooling over “Miami Thrice,” you can be sure that the Celtics will have a lot to say about who is still playing in June and who is watching the NBA Finals from home.

Doc Rivers joined ESPN 980 in Washington D.C.with John Thompson and Doc Walker to talk about The Lakers counting championships from another city, LeBron’s decision to go to Miami, what will be the biggest issue facing the Heat this season, the addition of Shaquille O’Neal in the offseason, what makes Rajon Rondo so good for the Celtics, and sends a message to Lakers fan Doc Walker.

On LeBron’s decision to go to Miami:

“Number one I will say this; he had every right to do that. The rules say you can be a free agent and the rules say you can go anywhere you want to. Now how he did it and all that, whatever. I don’t really care about that. If you were a business man and you owned a business and you could buy two other businesses and try to create a monopoly, you would do it. That’s what LeBron just did so I have no problem with that. Will it work? Eventually it will work. Will it work right away? I coach the Boston Celtics so I hope not. I do think people are all focusing on the wrong thing. I think everybody is talking about shots. Is there enough shots, will they have enough shots, will they be able to play together, whose going to take the last shot and that could cause turmoil, but I think the key for them is will they defend? Because if they defend and get stops, they’re talented enough offensively to get points. The key for them is will they buy into being a defensive unit.”

On Shaq’s addition:

“He won’t change our style because we want to run. We have a saying, let’s try to score in the first six seconds and if not you try to execute the heck out of them. We’re gonna try and run, get easy baskets, and then wait for Shaq to come down the floor. My biggest concern honestly coach is defensively because every time Shaq comes on the floor, everyone is going to run pick and roll and no one has been successful in figuring out how to use him and I’m no smarter than anyone else. That’s all we’ve been focusing on this summer is trying to figure out what we’re going to do in pick and rolls when he comes into the game.”

On the idea that the team might’ve been blown up:

“You really blow it up. You can never take it for granted. The year we got the team together, everyone said ‘well this year will be your building year and the following year you will win it.’ I told our players; I said guys if we have a chance to win it this year, we gotta seize the moment this year and then next year happens and that’s what happened.”

On what makes Rajon Rondo so good for the Celtics:

“First of all, he’s a stubborn kid and it was good for him. If you play with Kevin Garnett and Paul (Pierce) and Ray (Allen), you better be stubborn because every play they’re open. I tell Rondo the most important year in your vocabulary will be no. To say no because you got the ball and they will listen. The other thing about Rondo is he’s the smartest player that I’ve ever coached. His basketball IQ is off the charts. Now it gets him in trouble at times, but he has great feel, he has huge hands, he can rebound, and the thing that I’m most impressed with is he’s doing this without a jump shot. You think about how dominant he has been. It’s always been said that you cannot win in the NBA with a non-shooting point guard. We’re winning with a non-shooting point guard and we’re winning because of his IQ.”

On his message to Lakers fan Doc Walker:

“Number one you gotta congratulate them because they won. They still have not beaten our starting five. Our starting five against the Lakers starting five has a ring. Tell him don’t forget that. We will be back strong and Perk (Kendrick Perkins) will be there next year if there’s a game seven.”

Listen to Doc Rivers on ESPN 980 in Washington D.C. here

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  1. 22 Responses to “Doc Rivers On the Lakers Winning the Title: “They still have not beaten our starting five. Our starting five against the Lakers starting five has a ring””

  2. On the same note, the Celtics have not beaten the Lakers’ starting 5. Bynum was injured in 2008. If you discount his injury, then you can discount Perkin’s injury too. Sorry, Doc. You can’t have it both ways.

    By Sunny Sark on Aug 23, 2010

  3. Doc is so stupid, first of all in 2008 bynum was injured, secondly if bynum was health this year, the celts would have not survived to make it to game seven even with perkins.

    It is so funny how people discount the effect of bynum missing in 2008 and him playing injured this year.

    By shabaz on Aug 23, 2010

  4. Funny how no Laker team members, organization, fans, or LA press ever even mentioned Bynum’s injury (and complete absence) after loss in ’08, simply accepted loss and moved forward. Typical classless Red Auerbach-style crap Rivers is dishing out. Embarrassed for him, really. He ought to be focusing on Chicago and Miami.

    By Mitro on Aug 23, 2010

  5. So sad of Doc Rivers, i had respect for him but now i lost it. The Celtics beat the Lakers without Bynum & Ariza wasn’t fully healthy in the 08′ finals. Plus, Bynum wasn’t even really 50% healthy. Sad!!!!!

    By Scottie on Aug 23, 2010

  6. Also, funny is that Rivers chooses to blame Boston loss on Perkins’ injury rather than on Celtics blowing 13-point 3rd Quarter lead (without Perkins). Talk about poor sportsmanship. Doc’s comments totally non-objective and unprofessional.

    By Mitro on Aug 23, 2010

  7. Doc, com’on man! the ring you got from the lakers so-called starters in 2008 include vladamir radmanovic and a no-show for bynum (and in 2010 only played about 12 minutes per game).

    fact is, for only 1.75 games in those two series you were without perk. gimme a break.

    By Allan on Aug 23, 2010

  8. Rivers needs to shut up! … #1. When Boston won, Bynum was not on the court. #2. Give the Lakeshow credit when credit is due. #3. I guess it makes sense that the Celtics signed injury prone veterans like Shaq and Jermaine … so just in case they lose again to the Lakers, Rivers will have more injury excuses to come up with.

    P.S. Lastly, I would start to think that Rivers wouldn’t mind players being temporarily injured like when Paul Pierce pulled that lame prank of getting carried out off the court on a stretcher and then he comes back in the game in good condition. Get that classless act off the court!

    By Shibby on Aug 23, 2010

  9. I read this and immediately was going to post the same things, the Celtics have never beaten the Lakers’ starting five with Andrew Bynum, injuries are part of it.

    By FredJ on Aug 23, 2010

  10. This type of mentality is the reason why people don’t aspire to be great and or recognize greatness. If a championship coach takes on this type of attitude how can we continue to produce great players in all sports? The answer is we havent’ been and will continue to produce player like LeBron & Wade that when true adversity comes they go the other way. People like Doc, LeBron & Wade only want it easy. As long as they believe they have all the right cards in their hand they want to play hard; however if they think they don’t then they give up like LeBron during Celtics series, Wade during the entire 2010 season & Rivers after game 6 when Perkins got hurt. Just another day in America.

    By icycold06 on Aug 23, 2010

  11. i thought basketball was a team game, it’s funny cuz that’s what I thought DOC preaches

    By George on Aug 23, 2010

  12. What Doc said is absolutely true. They lost game 7 by 4 without their starting center.

    No, the Lakers didn’t mention anything in ’08 about Bynum not being in the lineup because if he hadn’t gotten injured in the first place, Memphis consultant, Jerry West, wouldn’t have thought to get them Pau Gasol in the most lopsided trade in recent memory.

    By joebball on Aug 23, 2010

  13. DOC RIVERS IS SORE LOSER ANOTHER LAKER HATER THE CELTICS PLAY DIRTY,AND STILL LOST.I’M TIRED OF PEOPLE HATING ON THE LAKERS WE WERE FAVORED TO WIN OR FINALS WITH CLEVLAND CHOKALIERS.LOOK WHO KEEP GETTIN M.V.P. KOBE SHOULD BE M.V.P FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS AT LEAST.BUT PEOPLE HATE THE BEST.THAT’S HOW IT GO.LOOK AT KOBE’S WORK ETHIC.LOVES THE GAME DESERVES TO BE A CHAMPION.HATES TO LOSE IF THE WHOLE TEAM PLAYS LIKE THAT WE CAN GET 3 MORE. YOU WANT SEE THAT UNLESS YOU LOOK AT SOME MICHAEL JORDAN GAMES AND I THINK KOBE IS JUST AS GOOD IS JORDAN.I THINK JORDAN WILL SAY THE SAME.KOBE DESERVES HIS RESPECT LAKERS TOO AROUND THE WORLD.DOC IS MAD HE DON’T HAVE HIM OR PAU,ODOM,ARTEST WHO SHUT PAUL PIERCE DOWN.BYNUM,BROWN.2010 WAS OUR YEAR AND EVERYONE KNOWS THAT BOTTOM LINE.WE EARNED IT.

    By robert on Aug 23, 2010

  14. Doc rivers can’t get over it, celtics lost period. Just focus in winning next season that’s what the lakers did in 2009 2010. I got respect for d wade, he’s a great player, lebron lost my respect he’s no longer a competitor he let down cleveland his team the whole city. Mr rivers u know ur guys play dirty, they win a game against the lakers or lebrons team and they think they have won the championship. To be honest with you I think oklahoma city showed more basketball than the celtics, kevin durant will be this years mvp. P.s celtics are over aged and need young players

    By dave on Aug 24, 2010

  15. Perkins or not, the refs should have hoisted that trophy because unfortunately they took it upon themselves to decide game 7. Bad basketball when refs take over like that.

    By Jim on Aug 24, 2010

  16. boston is the bomb there gonna win this seasone

    By jj on Aug 24, 2010

  17. Mr. Rivers, i believe the centers of both teams did not play much in game 7, and in games 1 to 6, Boston has the advantage of the starting five, being perkins was healthy and bynum is not, until your players choke at the end, blowing a big league in the 3rd quarter, and if you dont make it next year to the finals, just please pack your bags and leave town and take it like a man, like i did on 08.

    By noel on Aug 24, 2010

  18. First of all Mr. Doc you know in your mind, that Boston can’t beat the team the Lakers has with a healthy Bynum. remember game (6) one sided game. 1 up for the Lakers who came into the game down 3-2. And won two in a roll.

    By Oscar on Aug 24, 2010

  19. Doc Rivers good job.You are a smart man and good coach. Since the super team came together in Miami, no body is talking about the Celtics as the Eastern Champ any more and now this. Your team should work on getting out of Eastern conference first, before you talk about the western champs and the Lakers, NBA Champ. Doc you are a good coach but you must give Lakers their respect and honor them as the NBA Champion. Two years ago, no Laker players or the Organization bad mouthed you or your players when you beat them with all the injuries with their key players. And now this. DOC DO NOT WORRY TOO MUCH, THE SEASON IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER AND WE SHALL SEE WHO THE MAN IS. SEE YAH

    By Sir Manny on Aug 24, 2010

  1. 4 Trackback(s)

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  4. Aug 25, 2010: Doc Rivers Discusses LeBron, Rondo and Lakers | The Daily Heat
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