If anyone knows the difference between good and bad teams, it's Doc Rivers. Rivers has seen just as many bad teams during his tenure as the Boston Celtics' head coach as he has good ones. In two of his first three seasons on the sidelines here in Boston, Rivers had teams finish with 33 and 24 wins, respectively. It wasn't until the team made the move to acquire Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen that the Celtics became a legitemate title contender.
So when Doc says he sees a team that isn't good, you know it isn't good.
Sadly, that's the case for this year's bunch of Celtics.
Rivers, speaking after his team's 100-89 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night -- the team's third consecutive loss on its three-game road trip, did not hold back any punches when describing his 12-12 basketball team.
"This team is not a good team right now. It's who we are right now," Rivers said. "We're not a good team right now. We're going to find it. They were clearly a tougher team tonight, and it's not even close."
The Celtics trailed by double digits in the second half of Tuesday night's game before bridging the gap to a more respectable 11 points. Still, as captain Paul Pierce would later say, giving up 100 points per game -- especially to a team without its star player in point guard Derrick Rose -- is not very good.
Now 24 games into the campaign, Boston is .500 and sits in third place in the Atlantic Division behind the New York Knicks (18-6) and the Brooklyn Nets (13-11). If the playoffs were to begin today, Boston would be in -- barely -- sitting on half game above the Philadelphia 76ers for the eighth spot in the East.
What's holding the Celtics back? It's likely a number of things -- age, inability to defend consistently and play 48 minutes, the lack of impact defender Avery Bradley -- but even now, Rivers isn't too concerned about the makeup of his team, even saying that he believes this is the "right group" to be successful.
Hopefully he's right, or the Celtics may be hitting the golf course early this year.
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