Doc Rivers: 'We have one home game left'
June, 6, 2012
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty ImagesDoc Rivers said his team understands its only got one more game at home this round.His team one win away from punching its ticket to the NBA Finals, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers continued to stress Wednesday the need for a great sense of urgency when the Miami Heat visit TD Garden for Game 6 on Thursday evening.
"Listen, we have one home game left," said Rivers. "And that’s it in this series. We have to understand that, and we have to come with that sense of urgency. I think our guys get that. They know what's at stake. And so does Miami."
The Celtics' overall record in closeout games during the Big Three era is a mere 11-13. Boston has often failed to close out teams on first attempt, but usually prevailed in deciding games. The difference this time around? Game 7 is pegged for Miami and Boston won't have the benefit of home-court advantage it's enjoyed as a higher seed in past seasons. The Celtics are 9-2 in closeout chances at TD Garden.
That's why Boston will treat Game 6 like Game 7, though Rivers said that was the case Tuesday night as well.
"I think when you get to the playoffs, you get to 2-2, from that point on every game is Game 7," said Rivers. "Game 5, Game 6, Game 7 -- I think that’s how you have to look at them."
A few more highlights from Rivers' chat with reporters:
* Rivers said Ray Allen departed Game 5 after his ankle "locked" up on him and needed team doctors to put it back in place before returning. Allen has played the 16 games of the postseason with bone spurs in his right ankle that have limited his mobility at times. Rivers said he didn't think it would be an issue for Game 6.
"He’ll be fine," said Rivers. "(Allen) just said (the ankle) locked on him again. That’s happened a couple times. He needed our team doctor to maneuver it, to be almost chiropractic, just to unhinge it, so he could run again. That’s what it was."
* Rivers downplayed the apparent elbow-area contusion that Rajon Rondo suffered early in Game 5 (he got treatment from trainer Ed Lacerte on the sideline before returning to the game with a protective sleeve covering much of his left arm).
"I don’t know what happened there, I think he got slashed or cut," said Rivers. "I'm not even sure, I pay zero attention to injuries and never ask about them; I don’t want to know about them."
* Rivers downplayed the adjustments he's made this series, saying Boston has stuck with what's got them this far.
"I think it’s just us sticking to our original game plan," said Rivers. "We’ve made some adjustments that have worked, but they’ve made some that have worked as well. So I don’t know if there’s been an edge there or not. I think at the end of the day, we know who we are. We are who we are, and we’re not going to change who we are, because we really can’t. We don’t have enough guys to do it. The only change that I would say that we’ve made in a big way is that we’ve played small more than big. Other than that, we pretty much have stuck to our guns, because I don’t think we have enough to change a whole bunch and our guys understand that."