DALLAS You don't have to hit Doc Rivers over the head for him to realize that what he's doing now with the Celtics is not working.
There are too many lapses at both ends of the floor. Players are beginning to talk more and more about not competing and being embarrassed. Boston's problems seem to have a Ground Hog's Day feel about them.
Rivers will do whatever it takes to make things right, even if it means shaking up the starting lineup.
In the aftermath of the C's third straight loss on Sunday, Rivers revealed that he and his staff have had serious discussions about making a lineup change.
"I have to figure out a way, figure out another combination, maybe," Rivers said. "We just have to keep searching."
As far as why he hasn't made a change yet, Rivers said, "I just haven't done it. It's tough to do it, when you don't have your guys. If you wanted to make a change, how can you? Kevin (Garnett) and Brandon (Bass) are out, or somebody else is out."
Based on the players currently healthy, the C's might consider inserting Mickael Pietrus into the starting lineup ahead of Ray Allen.
The upside to such a move for Boston would be having a bigger shooting guard, and a better defender, on the floor to start games. And while the Celtics have had their problems scoring, part of that has to do with their defense's inability to get easy points off turnovers and stops.
Because Allen usually doesn't score early on, having him come off the bench would make him a bigger focal point of the offense. With Bass out until after the break, having the NBA's all-time leader in 3-pointers made go against second unit players could create a favorable matchup for the C's.
Rivers didn't say whether it was something they would do soon, but the fact that it's something they've talked about for a while speaks volumes as to how concerned Rivers and his staff are with what they're seeing on the floor now.
And while a trade is certainly an option, Rivers believes the team's turn-around will come from within this current group.
"I think it's a group in that locker room that fits," Rivers said. "But I have not found that right fit yet."