May 3, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers watches from the sideline as they take on the New York Knicks in game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
After the Boston Herald reported that the Celtics have worries that Doc Rivers may not return as coach next season, things are seemingly surfacing up that we did not know about at first.
There is seemingly an issue between Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers on the scheme that Boston should run. Take a look at this quote from the article the Boston Herald released earlier.
"“Doc wants to play up-tempo,” said Ainge. “We all want to play up-tempo. But that’s a serious commitment, and you have to have the right personnel to do that and still be able to defend,” Ainge continued “Doc and I have talked about tempo a lot. Doc really wants to play up-tempo, but you have to have the right players to do it. I don’t really want to get into our personnel, but I think Doc has played the right style of basketball for our team over the last while. Our identity has been built on defense, and you cannot be a defensive team and an up-tempo team”"
This quote concerns me. I know that Ainge said that he and Doc are on the same page and both want to play up-tempo. There are multiple reasons for not doing it, but if they really wanted to, wouldn’t the roster be shaped in that way?
It takes roster change to go into a season playing a different style, but if they really wanted to commit to that change I believe they would’ve by now. I don’t think that Rivers really wants to do that.
Its really the roster. I’m sure that Rivers doesn’t have a problem with coaching up-tempo ball–his Orlando teams were some of the fastest in the league. But making this transition requires a lot of moves that should’ve been made.
They have the ideal point guard for an up-tempo offense. Rondo is a willing passer and a monster at finishing in transition. He and Paul Pierce would’ve adapted to that style of play pretty well with them as a transition combination.
The problem would be the three bigs that the Celtics have. Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger are more suited for halfcourt style play. Putting them in the open floor is dangerous.
My next thought is about what Ainge said when talking about not being able to be up-tempo and defend. The Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs are both top 10 in pace and points per possession defense.
Yes, I’m aware that the best defensive teams in the league play slow offensive styles because of personnel. Still, that doesn’t mean that you have to make your roster one-dimensional. Especially not in today’s NBA where coaching is at a premium–not to mention that you’ve got one of the most innovative coaches in the league.