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.

Sunday's Red Sox-Rangers lineups: Boston needs the good Buchholz to show up

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Sunday's Red Sox-Rangers lineups: Boston needs the good Buchholz to show up

Clay Buchholz hopes ot lead off the afternoon game better than his last start, where he game up a home run and double to leadoff the game against Chicago.

The righty has a career 4.10 ERA against Texas in 41.2 innings pitched against Texas with a 1-5 record.

Unfortunately for Boston, Buchholz is even worse at Globe Life Park. The righty is 0-3 with a 5.82 ERA in 21.2 at the Rangers home field.

The lineups:

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Travis Shaw 3B
Sandy Leon C
Ryan LaMarre LF
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Clay Buchholz RHP

RANGERS
Shin-Soo Choo RF
Ian Desmond CF
Nomar Mazara LF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Prince Fielder DH
Roughned Odor 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
Mitch Moreland 1B
Bryan Holaday C
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Martin Perez LHP