Pregame: Rivers on C's confidence

January, 18, 2012
1/18/12
7:16
PM ET


BOSTON -- A quiet pregame before Wednesday's battle of teams on five-game losing streaks as the Celtics and Raptors joust at TD Garden. Boston coach Doc Rivers said his troops are well aware of their early season struggles.

"They are frustrated, like you would be," he said. "Other than that, they know they should be better. I always tell them, you are what your record is at the time. And that’s what we are. We are making a lot of self-inflicted mistakes... We’re almost in our own way right now. Eventually, we’ll get out of our way."

And he sees them pressing on the floor.

"I think that’s natural, I think every team does that -- I don’t think we’re any different," he said. "You look at it, I know there were six times we had a chance in the game [against Oklahoma City] the other night to either tie the game or take the lead, and we turned the ball over all six. We never actually got a shot off. And five of them were clearly guys just trying to make something happen when there didn’t need to be.

"You like the spirit, you just don’t like the application."

Here's a few quick hits before tip-off:

* Jermaine O'Neal is back in the starting lineup. Rivers reiterated his desire for O'Neal to focus on his role, but wouldn't mind some offense when opportunities arise. "I just need him to do what he does every night," said Rivers. "There’s nights where, when he’s under the basket, you want him to score. But, hell, it’s a team epidemic the other night. I don’t know how many layups we missed the game the other night, but it was a big number."

* The Celtics are again without reserves Keyon Dooling (right knee) and Chris Wilcox (left calf). Dooling went through a workout during the team's morning shootaround Wednesday and could be eyeing a Friday return; Wilcox isn't so close. "Chris is basically staying in the training room," said Rivers. "Keyon worked out this morning at a pretty good pace, so I would say he’s very close."

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksB. Bass 0.9