Pierce: 'We need better communication'

Pierce: 'We need better communication'
November 2, 2012, 1:51 am
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WALTHAM The sound of squeaky sneakers, Kevin Garnett barking out instructions and Rajon Rondo's voice raising a few octaves, is blaring out of the walls surrounding where the Boston Celtics practice.
It is the kind of vocal practice that C's head coach Doc Rivers would love to bottle up and then unleash on game day.
Transferring that high level of communication from practice to games -- particularly on defense -- is among the challenges that lie ahead for the Boston Celtics.
"We have to do a better job of talking to each other," said C's forward Paul Pierce. "Transition defense, number one. That's something that we emphasized (Thursday) morning, we need better communication."
And the obvious reason given for the communication breakdowns is the C's having a relatively new roster.
Of the 15 players Boston has around, only four -- Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Chris Wilcox (whose season was cut short because of heart surgery) -- were with the club last season.
While players and the C's coaching staff agree that part of their struggles has to do with so many new faces, there were many more problematic aspects of their season-opening loss.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said players understand the concepts that he and his staff are installing.
"The concepts are not hard; the trust is harder," Celtics coach Doc Rivers told CSNNE.com. "The trust part, not wanting to change, not wanting to do the easy way out, that'll be in time. It's going to take some time. I still want them to be offensive-minded, but I also want them to play our team defense."
And he's not speaking to just the new guys, either.
Boston's problems defensively are a team-wide issue.
That's why Rajon Rondo is so quick to acknowledge that the team's lackluster play defensively in the opener at Miami should not be totally blamed on the new guys.
"It wasn't just those guys, it was myself, Kevin, who was thinking a lot," Rondo said. "That stretch in the third quarter, I was thinking too much. It's not just the new guys, it's the core as well. We'll get better, starting tomorrow."
If Boston is to once again be among the NBA's top teams defensively, several players are going to have to find their loquacious side.
Better communication defensively is among the many talking points that Rivers preaches to his players about every season.
"You have to," Rivers said. "It's the only way the guy guarding the ball, knows what's going on. If the guy about to set the pick isn't yelling it out, how is he going to know what's happening behind him? It makes common sense, but you would be amazed at how many people don't do it."
"That's part of the game; communication, being on the same page, coming in here," said Pierce. "You see how everybody is talking to each other now? That's how it has to be on the court."