Friday, November 23, 2012
Pregame: Celtics focused on themselves
By Chris Forsberg
BOSTON -- Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that even with a top team like the Oklahoma City Thunder visiting TD Garden on Friday night, his squad remains focused on itself and correcting the inconsistencies that have plagued the team through 12 games.
After Rajon Rondo said the team needed a greater focus on the game plan in shootarounds after Wednesday's loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Rivers said the Celtics went film-heavy before Friday's game, trying to eliminate all the mistakes made that night.
"We didn’t have much of [a shootaround], it was a lot of film, really," said Rivers. "We didn’t even talk a lot about Oklahoma City, honestly. We gotta get our stuff right first. So Rondo is half right, but it also starts with each individual doing their job. What we wanted to show them today is how many individual breakdowns each guy had, and it’s funny when you look at it -- it’s not a lot by one guy, but when you have three or four by each guy, that means you're going to give up 58 percent shooting and give up  points [against the Spurs]."
Rivers spent time running down all of Oklahoma City's weapons, including a lot on old friend Kendrick Perkins, but he said he couldn't get caught up in the sentimentality of playing a core member of Boston's 2008 title team.
"It’s tough -- [Perkins is] good, a good defender," said Rivers. "I’m looking at their whole team, it’s pretty good. I haven't thought about the one guy more than the sentimental stuff."
A few more notes from pregame:
* The Celtics will maintain their recent starting lineup with Jason Terry and Brandon Bass next to the Big Three. Asked if there were any alterations, Rivers quipped, "After [Thanksgiving] dinner, I took my pants out. That's the only alteration."
* Boston will alter its jerseys on Friday, sporting the alternate road greens (with black trim) against the white-clad Thunder.
* Thunder coach Scotty Brooks on seeing Jeff Green back on the court: "It's great. When I first started with our team, I was an assistant and Jeff was my guy. I worked with him every day. He's a great, great young man. He's deserving of all his success. And what he went through and to come back, it's going to take him a while. It's hard to play in this league, and it's really hard to play when you've missed a year. He has to just be patient, himself, because he's a winner, he wants to do well, he wants to play well. It's going to take time, and not too many guys can miss a year and have success right off the get-go. But he will eventually; hopefully the next game."