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Doc Rivers on the Lakers: "They still have not beaten our starting five"

Aug 23, 2010, 4:02 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Rivers_Nicholson.jpgDoc Rivers came back to the Celtics because he wanted to make one more run at it with this group, he believed that this unit had one more title in it.

Of course, there are a couple obstacles to that. For one, there’s that Laker team that just beat the Celtics in the finals.

But Rivers still believes Boston was the better team when healthy, as he told John Thompson when he was on ESPN 980 in Washington D.C.

They still have not beaten our starting five. Our starting five against the Lakers starting five has a ring. Tell him don’t forget that. We will be back strong and Perk (Kendrick Perkins) will be there next year if there’s a game seven.”

I hate the “what if” injury game. Doc, I’ll counter your “what if Perkins was healthy for Game 7?” with a “What if Andrew Bynum had been healthy the entire series?” The what if game is circular.

But before Boston can worry about the Lakers, the Celtics have to get out of the East. And we all know that Miami is going to be good, including Rivers, but he wonders about their defense.

Will (the Miami trio) work? Eventually it will work. Will it work right away? I coach the Boston Celtics so I hope not. I do think people are all focusing on the wrong thing. I think everybody is talking about shots. Is there enough shots, will they have enough shots, will they be able to play together, whose going to take the last shot and that could cause turmoil, but I think the key for them is will they defend? Because if they defend and get stops, they’re talented enough offensively to get points. The key for them is will they buy into being a defensive unit.”

Rivers has one new big addition this season in Shaquille O’Neal – who may be key in getting past Miami in the playoffs, But Rivers is honest about how hard working Shaq into the Celtics system can be.

My biggest concern honestly coach is defensively because every time Shaq comes on the floor, everyone is going to run pick and roll and no one has been successful in figuring out how to use him and I’m no smarter than anyone else. That’s all we’ve been focusing on this summer is trying to figure out what we’re going to do in pick and rolls when he comes into the game.”

That is about where the interview ended, as Rivers had to go to his local church and make an offering, light a candle and pray for his team to stay healthy.

100 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Anonymous - Aug 24, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    This coming from a guy who calls himself Doc. Wonder if he has a phd or MD? Give the Lakers credit and stop whining. Losing to the Celtics on 08 made the Lakers better because they gained experience.
    Still a great rivalry and it keeps getting better. I really hope to see Lakers-Celtics in 2011.

  2. Alfred - Aug 24, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    so let’s examine this…hmmmmm. The Lakers have not beaten the 5 celtic starters. The leps have not either. ’08, no Bynum, starting center for the Lakers, and half a Gasol who had not yet meshed with the Lakers offense quite right. ’10 Bynum again not himself, check his minutes in the series and watch the games, AGAIN! Oh, I almost forgot, what happened to the celtics in ’09? Yeah i know kg was out. At least the Lakers got to the finals without a starter. ’11 will be the Lakers again in the finals and somebody in the East, but it will not be the whinning leps. No more gold for you at the end of the rainbow. Can you say 3 peat LAKERS?

  3. Funny - Aug 24, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    Yes the Celtics have never won anything since 1986 that is 24 long years ago….. 1/3 of the population in the world was not even born before then… Oh that’s right they won in 2008 that is once in 24 years…. And that is that the Lakers were missing TWO starters not just one fro the entire series and not missing one player for one game as were the Celtics in 2010…. Good Luck winning the East next year let alone even making the championship against the Lakers. If Bynun or Ariza weren’t hurt in 2008 the Lakers would not only be going for a FOURPEAT IN 2011, we would be going for 18 rings and the Celtics would only have 16 and yes would not have won anything for 24 LONG YEARS….. Watch out what you say Doc you aren’t as smart as you think… could of should of etc…. BE QUIET and BE HUMBLE you moron….

  4. bballfan - Aug 24, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    MORON, dang mcdaddy you take the bait so easily i sat back and saw the smack you were posting and you have the nerve to sound offended LOL i can see you can dish it out but cant handle getting the same in return hahahahah you just been schooled by a hateful Loser??? hahahahah

  5. bballfan - Aug 24, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    MORON, dang mcdaddy you take the bait so easily i sat back and saw the smack you were posting and you have the nerve to sound offended LOL i can see you can dish it out but cant handle getting the same in return hahahahah you just been schooled by a hateful Loser??? hahahahah just so you know u got one of the best attitudes on here im not a hater of anyone just here to read and have fun heres hoping it be a lakers/celtics in 2011 and that they go 7 games again lets get our moneys worth

  6. josh - Aug 24, 2010 at 5:56 PM

    errrrr, remember when Doc Rivers sprinted out onto the court to call a timeout, when there was 2 seconds left on the backcourt clock and the Lakers had them totally double teamed in one of the games in Boston? He literally sprinted out onto the court, stopped the players, and called timeout. Obviously this should be a technical, at the very least, but the announcers, proving that they could be at least as stupid as Rivers, only said “wow did you see how fast he sprinted out there? He’s still got it. GREAT play by Doc Rivers.” Wow, great “East Coast” basketball, a bunch of fat hacks hitting the Laker players all over their arms and body every possession, while the refs swallow their whistles, Rasheed screams psychotically when he gets called for a foul, the entire Boston crowd is on the sideline ready to riot and stream onto the court during play, and to top it off the idiot Boston coach is running around on the court DURING PLAY at a crucial moment of the game, grabbing players and calling timeout. Uh, HELLO. I understand “win at all costs” but Boston is just ugly ugly ugly. They lost and it was justice. Lakers would play them 10 series out of 10 and beat them worse every time.

  7. yjfh - Aug 24, 2010 at 6:22 PM

    learn how to spell again. proper grammar please.

  8. Drew - Aug 24, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    Josh, come on, you’re really picking at straws here. First of all, coaches walk onto the court all the time in the NBA. Nobody ever gets whistled for a ‘T’ just as no one ever gets called for a travel unless it’s so blatantly obvious you have to call it. Speaking of travels, didn’t Gasol make a crucial bucket late in Game 7 which the replay indicated was a travel? I’m not crying foul about the refs, I’m just saying it all evens out.
    So you’re also complaining about the Celtics players hacking, holding, and fouling. Dude, what does Ron Artest do? What does Sasha Vujacic do when he’s on the floor? Even Kobe does some of that from time to time. It’s called physical playoff basketball. You didn’t hear the Lakers complaining about it.

  9. Simple Fact - Aug 24, 2010 at 11:53 PM

    A over looked fact on Game 7. Lakers won the last 3 quarters. check out the box score.

  10. Stryker - Aug 25, 2010 at 2:20 AM

    I’m with you on this one, Drew. And I absolutely agree… despite me being an avid Laker fan.

  11. Stryker - Aug 25, 2010 at 2:43 AM

    I want the Celtics in the Finals to battle the Lakers.
    If one would consider his team the best, then you have to beat the best opposition. And that for me is the Celtics.
    Old Celtics? Perhaps, if you are talking in relatives. But these are wizened vets and not a bunch of geezers. I won’t be surprised if they BEAT THE HEAT.
    I would love to see LA beat Miami just to show how the pecking order of things are in the NBA. Sadly, they have to pass through Boston first before even getting to LA.

  12. magicfan - Aug 25, 2010 at 7:18 AM

    All this BS about Lakers/Celtics in 2011….neither team will be able to handle Orlando,in my opinion…and No-defense Miami will fall again, as they usually do.

  13. whutevr - Aug 25, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    handle orlando, uhm where you been the lakers handled them already in ’09 dotn get me wrong i dont discount the magic but please to discount lakers and celtics in that manner even if it is your opinion is kind of insulting to all other teams especially since well to ber blunt the went to the big dance and got stepped on, the next year they got schooled by old geezers as i saw someone refer to the celtics as LOL lets face it they have a lot to prove …as do the heat and i do agree on your assessment of them though

  14. Anonymous - Aug 25, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    There is still one spelling error.

  15. Drew - Aug 25, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    I don’t really see how Orlando has gotten better. The formula for beating them seems the same: get Howard off the block enough and make him beat you or double him and run the 3-point shooters off the line. I think they’re still missing the creative perimeter scorer at the end of games. Vince Carter is not it. They’re still a great team, but I’ve got Miami and Boston ahead of them and I think Chicago will make some noise too. I don’t see anyone challenging LA in the West.

  16. 8ntSureBet - Aug 25, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    Wow! Just when I was starting to like Doc Rivers [’cause I think he’s an excellent coach in getting the most out of his guys despite their ancient longevity on the floor]…….
    and then,he goes and says something stupid.
    Doc! Please save the psychological ploys for other guys that can do it better than you–like, say, Phil Jackson.
    Or better yet….get as many rings as Jackson first. People will understand then.

  17. Celticgirl - Aug 25, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    Whenever someone posts online, they really ought to check their own spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. Why? Because those “couple of typos” make you sound dumb (which presumably you are not). Whenever someone is disagreeing with someone else’s point of view, it would be wonderful if they could manage to express their point of view without sounding like potty-mouth latency-aged children. Grow up. Please! Imagine the quality of a debate, if REAL words were used. Oh never mind, I forgot that “moron” is a real word, isn’t it? The spirited rivalry between the Lakers and the Celtics will NEVER diminish. I was there the night Chamberlain sat down and Russell called him a quitter. I was there the night Havlichek stole the ball. I was there the night Bird intercepted the inbounds pass and tossed it to Dennis Johnson. Having lived in Los Angeles for many years now, I have lived through many wonderful and horrible nights of Celtic-Laker basketball, and YES, if Perkins had not gone out with the knee injury, the Celtics would have gotten the ring. In my opinion, without any name-calling.

  18. Anonymous - Aug 25, 2010 at 6:33 PM

    you are right, the C’s shouldn’t have fallen asleep on the old Fish for one minute in game 3, it should definitely have been finished in 5. hahaha… it goes to tell you.. must stay alert for 48 minutes!

  19. Jim P. - Aug 25, 2010 at 6:42 PM

    What in the world are you thinking? The fewer teams, the better the players. With only 8 teams, they got to pick the best out of college, not high school. Just look at all the Hall of Fame players there are from before the 80’s and compare them to the players after that. No comparison can be made. You idiot!!!!!!!! The rules were different, there was no traveling allowed like there is now. There was no dunking and hanging on to the net the way these children do now. Check out all the palming that is done now, I wonder if you even know what palming is? Michael, before they let him become a star, continually was called for traveling because he didn’t know how to approach the net. The NBA changed the traveling rule solely to let him show off and bring in more fans, who didn’t know how the game was played. The game of today is so different from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, it’s an embarrassment to even think they’re equal. Whenever I see Stearn speak, I think I see a little stare of disbelief in his eyes, because he can’t believe the things he has to say for the sport.

  20. Dave G. - Aug 25, 2010 at 7:43 PM

    Woke up this morning…sun shining, birds tweeting, thinking everything is right with the world….then I read this article and never realized how many F&*kin Laker idiots they are out there. Some hemmoroid said ” Gasol was just here for a short time”…ummm so, tell me…isn’t he STILL your starting center? Bynum? in 2008? Wasn’t worth anything. Today (when healthy) I’ll grant you, but otherwise Perkins wouldv’e eatin him for lunch.
    Look, THIS is what it took for the Lakers to win the series by FOUR points.
    Perkins out for the last two games with Boston up in the series.
    Second? An amazing 24 FREE THROWS in ONE 4th quarter, the MOST in a 4th quarter ALL season! And IF you’re honest with yourselves, there was no way the FT difference was that wide. So, thank the Ref’s!
    Doc is/was right.
    LA’s biggest weapon is on the downhill slide so unfortunately, we won’t see an LA finals for a while. Either Boston or Miami wins it.

  21. B. - Aug 25, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    Jesus I agree. It’s like the game was never ending array of Kobe Bryant free throws.
    No offense to the Lakers fans but if the officiating were much less biased we would see much closer and exciting games…

  22. Jay - Aug 25, 2010 at 8:36 PM

    Have u faker fans ever noticed every time u beat us its when where missing a key player.

  23. luffy - Aug 25, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    Again, check out the 2008-2009 regular season games, both teams were complete and healthy and Lakers won both games. Don’t worry coz I’m sure it’ll be a Lakers-Celtics finals again next season, just hope everybody is healthy so all the arguments about injuries and losing could be concluded…

  24. Barry Tesar - Aug 26, 2010 at 12:13 AM

    Heck, The Celtics would have won if they had gotten the 20 extra free throws! Gasol went up-and-down with the ball in the final minutes – every grade kid knows that is “walking.” Do you really believe all the officials were looking somewhere else? I know it makes me look like a poor sport, but I truly believe the League wanted Kobe to win because that is the storyline they want to push for the coming season. This was a pro-Laker thing, not an anti-Celtic thing. just like when the NFL cheated with their “Tuck-Rule” fiasco. That wasn’t pro Patriots, that was simply anti-Raiders. The Patriots just happened to be the benefactors of the league’s desire to keep the Raiders out of the Super Bowl. I wish it wasn’t, but all sports are businesses first and I’ve been around enough businesses to know that the boss usually gets what he wants. Kobe is currently the NBA’s Golden Boy!

  25. luffy - Aug 26, 2010 at 12:59 AM

    Send Vince Carter to Toronto and bring Turkoglu back to Orlando, then let’s talk about the Magic being a championship contender. Now they’re just a play-off team but not a championship team…
    West Finals – Lakers vs. OKC/Utah, Lakers in 6 games…
    East Finals – Celtics vs. Miami/Chicago, Celtics in 7 games…
    Then Lakers 3peat in 6 games…

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