Since the 2007-2008 campaign the Boston Celtics have been one of the elite teams in the Association. That has not been the case so far in the still young NBA season as they head into Wednesday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks with a record of 4-4. Celtics head coach Doc Rivers spoke with the media after practice on Monday, and according to the “Boston Globe” he is blaming the less than stellar start by his club to lack of conditioning.
The Boston bench boss told reporters “You have to be in shape first. You can have all the intensity you want, and I think our guys do. But after three minutes and your lungs hurt, you’re no longer thinking about intensity, you’re thinking about survival. How can I get through this next five minutes? And then you’re not playing the same. So, we have to be in better shape. Some of it is we have to be tougher. Maybe that’s conditioning, as well.”
Rivers told reporters that the lack of being in proper shape did not plague his team alone. He said “I think this year, I guarantee half the guys, when they decertified, thought ‘no season’ or ‘January, at the earliest.’ All of a sudden, it came together within a week, and it was too late to get in shape. That probably threw a lot of guys off.”
The Celtics head coach is pleased with the personalities on his roster; but he stressed that is only part of the equation. He said “We can get along but I want to win, too. Chemistry is phenomenal. I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys but I may be asking for a tougher group of guys. Right now, we’re not a post team. We haven’t proven we can be that. We’re a jump-shooting team and a pick-and-roll team. When you see jump shots, it’s probably conditioning.”
The Celtics will add another weapon to their arsenal for the game against the Mavericks as they will activate forward Mickael Pietrus for Wednesday night’s game. The forward will give the club added depth at both forward positions; something they have had little of since the start of the campaign.