EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

June 7, 2009

State of the Celtics: Rivers runs through it

Celts coach reviews season, says Rondo not an All-Star yet, laments 'giving away' Game 6

EDITOR'S NOTE: Eagle-Tribune columnist Bill Burt and Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers recently had a 30-minute discussion about the state of the Celtics.

Q: So how are your days different now that your season is over?

DOC: "Well, I'm playing golf about four days a week. That's a good thing. I enjoy that. It's also nice to be with the family a lot (at their Orlando, Fla., home). Every time I go to the office I bring out a pad of paper and I put down names and write about how we can get better. ... We have to improve our team if are going to win."

Q: So what are you writing down on that pad?

DOC: "For one, we have to take better care of the basketball. If you looked at our numbers we were third or fourth in the league in field goal percentage (actually second at 48.6 percent) yet we were 28th in turnovers. Two, our transition defense has to get better. Off the edge, in transition, we gave away too many easy baskets. Three, our bench has to get better as a group, positions we have to improve. We need a backup big (man). We need a backup for Paul Pierce. And we need a backup for Rajon Rondo."

Q: The one thing the Celtics hit on last year was bench guys you brought in, including James Posey, P.J. Brown and Sam Cassell. Is it safe to assume that the Celtics have to do a better job at filling those roles in 2009-10?

DOC: "Absolutely. We have to hit on backup positions. That's the key to our season, the subtle moves we make. One mistake we made was our locker room and our bench got too young too quickly. I think it made Rondo and Perkins younger. When guys had questions in the locker room, you had Sam, P.J. and Posey, plus the Big Three.

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