Rivers hopes to get Celtics on right track soon

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Rivers hopes to get Celtics on right track soon

If you want to know Doc Rivers' take on the season so far, you'll have to wait.

It's too early to tell, but you can assume that Rivers wasn't hoping his team would at any point sit at 4-7. He wasn't necessarily happy prior to the last three losses.

"I don't know what my take would be. I don't know if I'm happy. I don't know if I'm upset," Rivers told CSNNE's Greg Dickerson.

At the time of the interview, the C's were hovering around .500, prompting Rivers to claim he's 50-50 on the season so far. But he didn't stop there.

"We have not played as well as I thought we would out of the gates," he said.

But "out of the gates" has turned into the first 11 games of the season, where the C's find themselves at 4-7 going into Monday night's tilt against the Oklahoma City Thunder (11-2).

The product the Celtics have put on the court is certainly not one they plan on putting out there down the road.

"We're going to be a good team I think, but we're just not there yet," Rivers said. "And I think our group is starting to understand that it's just not going to happen because we have bodies in the gym. It's going to require a lot of work."

But regardless of the small roster heading into the lockout, the short time they had to assemble a team, and the money available to bring in talent, Rivers in no way "prepared" himself for losses to start the season.

"That's probably why I'm not happy," he said.

One key to success for the Celtics will be to get Kevin Garnett shots, something Doc Rivers has tried to engrave in the mind of the C's power forward since he got here, but especially now.

In Saturday's loss to the Pacers, Garnett took a season-high 19 shots and converted on a season-high ten of them. That's one bright spot to be taken out of the C's fourth straight loss.

"You just keep pleading, and keep getting him there," Rivers said. We have to do a better job too, it's not just Kevin, and I want to make that clear. We have to look for him more, we have to run more sets for him,and we have to execute more sets for him."

But Garnett isn't the only player the C's look to for scoring. One place they haven't had much luck with in the scoring department is the bench unit. In fact, through the first ten games of the season (Indiana excluded) the C's are averaging just 27.6 bench points per game, putting them at 24th out of 30 NBA teams.

The newest member of the bench, Mickael Pietrus, looks to change that.

"He can make a shot," Rivers said. "And that's what our bench needs to do. Our bench is playing great defense and no offense; really struggling offensively. And I have to do a better job, I have to figure out a way."

Rivers is right about the C's bench defense too. While you can't assume that the C's bench goes in against the opponent's bench, you can often find members of both sides in at the same time.

The C's lead the NBA in stopping opponent bench points, coming in at a measly 24.6 points per game.

At the half: Sixers applying pressure early and often against the Celtics

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At the half: Sixers applying pressure early and often against the Celtics

The Celtics are getting more than they bargained for against the Philadelphia 76ers who are once again, record-wise, among the worst teams in the NBA.

They didn’t look like it in the first half which ended with the Celtics trailing the Sixers 53-45.

Boston came into the game having won its last four road games. And they did so by playing solid defense, something that has been noticeably absent in the first half.

Philadelphia came into the game as one of the NBA’s better 3-point shooting teams and has lived up to the lofty ranking.

In the first half Philadelphia made nine of its 18 three-point attempts while the Celtics are way, way, way at the other end of the 3-point shooting spectrum while missing eight of their 11 3s with Isaiah Thomas making a pair with the lone other made 3-pointer coming from Marcus Smart.

The defense struggled, the offense never had any kind of flow and not surprisingly, the Celtics found themselves playing from behind most of the first half.

Here are the first half stars from Saturday’s game.

STARS

Sergio Rodriguez: His playmaking was solid as usual, but it was Rodriguez getting it going with his jumper that really produced surprisingly strong results for the Sixers. He had 11 points, four assists and a steal in the first half.

Isaiah Thomas: Playing his game which is shooting and attacking the rim, Thomas was Boston’s lone double-digit scorer in the first half with 15 points which is tops among all players.

STUDS

Dario Saric: It was a solid first half as Saric contributed both on the boards and the scoreboard. He had 10 points in the first half along with five rebounds.

Gerald Henderson: Henderson had one of those high efficiency-type games with 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting.

DUDS

Celtics 3-point shooting: It was a miserable first half for a team that has been among the NBA’s leaders in 3-pointers made and taken this season. At the half, Boston has shot 2-for-10 on 3's.

Celtics defense: Boston has shown little to no signs of providing the kind of push-back they’ll need in order to leave Philly with a win. In addition to allowing Philadelphia to shoot 47.4 percent from the field, Boston also allowed the Sixers to knock down nine 3's.

Red Sox outfield "Win, Dance, Repeat" celebration finds its way on MLB the Show 17

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Red Sox outfield "Win, Dance, Repeat" celebration finds its way on MLB the Show 17

Mooke Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and a mix of Andrew Benintendi, Brock Holt, Blake Swihart and Chris Young brought postgame celebrations to a new level last season.

Most Sox fans are familiar with the outfield victory "Win, Dance, Repeat" where the trio would dance and pretend to photograph the game's best player between them. The celebration ended with a pose at first, but as seen the MLB the Show 17's freshly released trailer, a few more wrinkes were added in.

In fact, here's a taste of the celebrations and what else to expect from Playstation's 2017 MLB game: