home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 12, 2008

Doc Rivers


Q. Rajon says he's all set to go. Are you in agreement with that, and just what's your assessment of where he is?
DOC RIVERS: He's all set to go. He's ready. He didn't do a lot yesterday. He shot. But he's ready to go, so that's good. It's a non-factor.

Q. A non-factor? I mean, are you concerned about his speed? Who will come back him up?
DOC RIVERS: Well, I'm not concerned about who backs him up. We have able bodies and players for that, so I'm not concerned by that. I'm really not concerned. I think he'll be fine.
Obviously whenever Rajon plays his speed has to be a factor in the game that he's playing in. That's his skill, that's the tool that he can use to help us win games. If he gets on the floor and I feel at some point that because of the ankle or just because of play that it's not, then we make changes. Other than that, it is -- I think he'll be fine, though, I really do.

Q. When the issues with Rondo came up about the injury, sort of a debate comes up about, well, maybe Boston would be better playing Eddie House because he would spread the floor and now he has to be guarded and maybe they can't drop off and play the lane so much. What do you think about that sort of debate about that?
DOC RIVERS: Well, it's an honest debate, I can tell you that. That's what I meant by when Rondo is playing and speed is a factor, it overcomes the traps and the things that the Lakers are doing. When he's not using his speed as a factor, then that does come into play, and that's basically why in the second half we stay with Eddie more and probably would have even played Sam more, because of that.
It's what teams have done all year to us, so it's nothing the Lakers are doing new that we haven't seen all year. We knew going into the year that Rondo would be the guy, and Perk, for that matter, would be the guy that teams are going to help off of and trap off of. We've done a pretty good job of counteracting that by putting Rondo in spots where he can catch it and go, catch it and make a decision and make plays, but when you take away his speed, then that does become a factor. And he has struggled doing it clearly, and on those nights we go with someone else. It's worked for us, and we'll continue to do it.

Q. Paul Pierce is probably going to finish his Boston career as one of the top five offensive players statistically. Would a championship, in your opinion, place him in the first tier of Celtic legends?
DOC RIVERS: I don't know. I don't pay much attention to it, to be honest. Obviously if you're a Celtic, the Championship helps put you in a different level because they've set the standard of winning. So if you're going to be a Celtic, winning has to come with being a Celtic.

Q. Paul gets his points however he gets them, and Kevin gets his points, but he's something like 22 for 62. Do you have to do anything to get him a couple easy ones early to get him off?
DOC RIVERS: We just have to get him going, and I don't know if it's early, but we definitely have to establish him. I haven't been particularly happy with the way we've played in transition towards Kevin, meaning I think the best time to post the ball is in transition. Teams don't have a chance to set up their defense. Kevin runs the floor, and I think we tend at times to stay away on the outsides instead of really looking early, to early posts. We did it in stretches, but we haven't done it enough to get him going.
But clearly Kevin is a guy that we have to do a better job of getting going.

Q. Does his ultra-intensity sometimes get in his way?
DOC RIVERS: I'm sure it does. It also is the thing that drives our team and helps us, so it's a fine line with him. But he's not going to change, and I'm not going to change him, I can tell you that. We need his energy for the team. Sometimes it speeds him up a little bit, and in those times I'll choose to run a motion play to get him in different spots. He tends to be better when his energy is up that way. But he is who he is. After all these years, he's not going to change his person, who he is, so we play with it.

Q. Given that, it was brought up after Game 3, Kevin was out early in the fourth quarter, then he came back and you made a remark about, well, we tried to go in there and we didn't get anything out of it, or something to that effect. Because Kevin Garnett is such a transcendent kind of player, star of the NBA, MVP, maybe could have been this year, do we expect too much from him down the stretch because there's this notion that, well, your big player has to score down the stretch? Are we looking at Kevin Garnett the same way because we expect him to do that?
DOC RIVERS: It's a great question, and I don't know if you're looking at him too much or if you're being too critical. The fact that -- he's just a different big than you've ever seen. I liken him to a little bit like Patrick Ewing. Playing for the Knicks, I remember everyone complaining that Patrick Ewing took too many jump shots. I used to laugh, well, he made most of them, so why shouldn't he take them? Kevin is not fueled on the other end by scoring. He's a scorer, he's capable of scoring, but for the most part Kevin is going to make the right play.
Use Paul and Kobe as an example. If Paul makes three shots in a row, he's shooting the fourth time he gets the ball, whether it's a good shot or not. Kobe, as well. If Kevin makes three in a row, he's thinking that he's taken too many shots already and needs to get someone involved.
You really would want every player to be that way in some ways, but when you're as talented as Kevin I think it frustrates people at times. It doesn't us, because I think he's made so many great players for our team, and we facilitate our offense through him.

Q. When you guys first acquired Ray and then Kevin, I don't think any of us wrote or predicted that you would be the best defensive team in the league. How did that come about, with the three superstars that you had? How did the defensive focus come about?
DOC RIVERS: Well, it had to, because if it didn't, we wouldn't be here. It started the first day. I've told the story before. But right after the big press conference, we sat in the back and we talked, had a long talk, and the only thing I brought up was defense, and I was very honest. It was great because Kevin Garnett was the guy standing up saying, listen, he's right. So what? We can score. We're not going to win unless we can play defense and commit to it, and we did it as a team. Tom Thibodeau has been fantastic on our staff. It's been a single-minded commitment to it with our staff. Our players had to buy into it, obviously. You can't do anything without the players. They've been fantastic. But Kevin has been the leader in that. And when you hear Paul say that Kevin has changed the culture of our team, that's what he's saying.

Q. Rajon has that blog. He's been updating his injury status kind of on that blog --
DOC RIVERS: I love blogs (laughter).

Q. I was just going to ask you that. Is that the type of thing he had to run by you guys or is that kind of a different generation? I can't imagine you doing a blog when you were with the Hawks.
DOC RIVERS: I have one; no one knows about it (laughter).
Yeah, it's definitely different generations. Guys like them, so I don't get in the way of them, as long as what goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas if you know what I'm saying.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297