Doc Rivers: “We are Playing Awful Right Now. I Think we have More Talent than our Record.”

January 24, 2013 – 5:50 am by Steven Cuce

The Boston Celtics currently stand at 20-21, which is good for eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Boston is on a four-game losing streak.

Doc Rivers still hasn’t found his team yet, but expected some struggles based on the changes the Celtics made in the offseason. The Celtics take on the Knicks tonight in a battle of division rivals.

Doc Rivers joined 790 The Ticket in Miami with The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz to discuss the feeling of playing against his son last week, Kevin Garnett being an unselfish player, getting superstar players to buy into making sacrifices to win a championship and finding his team this season.

Have you ever in sports at any time accomplished anything in your life that felt as good as watching your son hit a game-winner while at Duke?

“Oh no. No, no, not at all. That was as a sport, but maybe as a parent. I don’t know which category you put it in. Heck, there is no better feeling then that. That was absolutely phenomenal and it was such a spontaneous moment. It was really a neat moment for me and my family.”

How often will you and Kevin Garnett get into screaming matches given your close relationship?

“More than you think with Kevin. He is such an emotional player and I don’t know if you call it a screaming match, but you can call it a loud disagreement or whatever you want to call it. The great thing about Kevin is that once it is decided, it’s over. He moves on. Great example: We are playing awful right now and I think we have more talent than our record and hopefully I am right about that. Last night, after the game, and I didn’t know this until Kevin Garnett says, ‘I have to play better.’ That’s what you want. That’s what you need as a coach when you have players in your locker room and you are struggling. Instead of looking to point the finger with not enough touches or anything, Kevin Garnett looks inward. He always does that and it allows everyone else to do that because Kevin does that and that’s what you want in the locker room.”

What was the toughest thing about coaching three superstar players?

“I think getting them to buy in. You think about it and they all were going to have to sacrifice, and you know like I know that to get your team into anything, everyone has to sacrifice something for the good of the team. Ray Allen was going to have to sacrifice shots. At the end of the year, when you think about it, each guy sacrificed about seven or eight shots per game. That’s a lot of shots, five to six minutes per game, and that’s a lot of minutes to drop and be able to do that. I do think you get them at the right time and timing is really important. I got them all at the time that they were all frustrated about not being a winner. They had all been on an All-Star team. They all wanted to be a winner and, as we know, we always hear players all around the league just trying to win. Well you know half of that is true. They are trying to win as long as it is comfortable for them. All three of those guys decided they really wanted to win and they knew it would be uncomfortable and they all had to change some of the things they were doing in the past where they were at, and they were willing to do it.”

Is your team this year better, worse or the same as last year?

“I don’t know yet. I think I started going into the year, on paper, that we were better, but anytime you make nine changes to your team, you don’t know your team until you coach them. I am still and I haven’t found them yet. I am still trying to figure out the right group at the right time and that’s mid-season and that’s a little late.”

Listen to Doc Rivers on 790 The Ticket in Miami here [Interview begins at the 1:01:00 mark of the podcast]

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