Doc Rivers on Closing Out Sixers: “We don’t have a huge margin for error. I’ve said that all year about this team.”May 23, 2012 – 5:30 am by Steven Cuce
After a sluggish first half against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Boston Celtics outscored their opposition 54-35 in the second half for a 101-85 victory to take a commanding 3-2 series lead. Will the Celtics finally get the message and close out their opponent in a pivotal Game 6? Doc Rivers isn’t looking past Philadelphia despite what Doug Collins may believe.
The Celtics head coach hasn’t been shy about crediting his opponent during this series and he knows it will take a flawless effort to close out the series in Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
Doc Rivers joined WEEI in Boston with Dennis and Callahan to discuss the personality of the Boston Celtics, his pregame speech to the Celtics before Game 5 against the Sixers, Doug Collins telling the Sixers that the Celtics are looking ahead to the Heat already in the Eastern Conference Finals, his key points to win Game 6 and the health status of Avery Bradley.
Why do the Celtics never seem to do things the easy way? Have you figured out the personality of this team?
“Well I just think that is who we are. Some teams have the ability to close teams out in four like the San Antonio Spurs. We just don’t right now. We don’t have a huge margin of our error. I’ve said that all year about this team and it shows in games at times.”
What did you say to your team before the game yesterday and did you think you were lucky to only be down a small margin at the half?
“Before the game you just get them ready. You just talk about the game plan and all that stuff. You hope you can go out and do it. For whatever reason we were just not in the right place and that happens. It’s a human game. There could be 1,000 reasons why, but it happened and you could see it was multiple guys just weren’t right. At halftime I was just happy we hung in there. We didn’t play our best. It’s not like guys didn’t go out and try to play their best. They just didn’t. I didn’t think in the first five or six minutes of the second half that we played that much better and it clicked for us. Our energy rose and things went well. I thought we feed off each others energy from that point on.”
What did you think when you heard Doug Collins told his team that you guys were looking ahead to Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals without Chris Bosh?
“No I don’t mind that at all. I mean it’s not true on our part. If that’s what you feel you need to do to excite your team? I would think playing us would be enough. I have no problem with that. That’s not true. They are a good basketball team and every night we have to go out and try to beat anybody. That’s who we are.”
Three blackboard points before you take the court in Game 6?
“The first thing for us is getting back. When they run and play in transition it’s very difficult for us to beat them. They’re faster. They’re quicker. We have to get back. We have to take care of the ball and then on our end we have to play with advance and that means moving the ball.”
Is Avery Bradley out for tomorrow night?
“I don’t know yet. [Host: Game-time decision?] Yeah. I would say 50-50.”