Doc threatens to 'get some guys out of here'

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Doc threatens to 'get some guys out of here'

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. Doc Rivers has had moments all season when his disappointment following a loss spilled over into what one can only describe as anger.

But Sunday's 103-88 loss to Detroit was different.

Rivers' postgame comments left an unmistakable impression that he has had all he's going to take from this Celtics team that continues to play erratic, inconsistent and underachieving basketball.

"I gotta either find the right combination or the right guys, or we're going to get some guys out of here," said a visibly upset Rivers after the Celtics lost their third straight game. "That's the bottom line. This group right now, they're not playing right. It's in them to play right. But right now they haven't been either because I'm not getting to them, or they're not getting to each other."

Said Kevin Garnett: "I'm pretty sure Doc's upset and frustrated like everybody else here right now. He's mad as me, he thinks in those terms. I'm a player and I have to say, 'what can I do better?' That's where I'm at."

Still, with Rivers' comments coupled with the Celtics (20-20) continuing to hover around the .500 mark, the trade rumors will only grow stronger and louder unless the C's do in fact turn around their season.

"You know, they're gonna do what they gonna do," said Paul Pierce. "My job is to go out there and give the necessary effort every night, be as consistent as I can to help this ball club win."

Still, the anger and frustration that Rivers speaks of, does not appear to be noticeable among the players inside the C's locker room.

The Celtics locker room consists of a number of level-headed, even-keeled souls who both individually and collectively are likable teammates.

Rajon Rondo has had his share of incidents for what essentially amounts to losing his cool.

But as we have seen thus far, being cool and calm hasn't necessarily allowed the Celtics to collect many victories.

"For me, it's too laxed; our locker room is too laxed," Rondo said. "Even though a lot of guy's personalities are laid back. But we all got to this level by competing. And right now, the talent we have, the record is embarrassing. Until guys get sick and fed with it, I don't know if things are going to change. We still have to go out there and play the game."

And play it better, more together than Celtics fans have seen thus far this season.

Although Boston did win six in a row, Rivers said the C's only played three really good games in that stretch, referring to a couple of the wins in the streak as "garbage. We just won the game."

Rivers' anger isn't just directed at the players, either.

In fact, the first person he chastised after Sunday's loss, was himself.

"I'm clearly not doing my job with this team," Rivers said. "I ain't trying to take a bullet for the team. I told them that, 'we gotta find something every night all 12 guys play the same way."'

While Rivers is on point in including himself as part of the team's problem, ultimately the recovery of this team - if there is going to be one - is on the players.

And one of the first steps in that process is to come clean with one another, something Rivers does not believe has happened yet.

"I don't think guys are honest with each other," Rivers said. "I just don't think we have committed to being a good basketball team. I think this team wants everything easy; they want the easy way out. They just want to win easy. And I told them, 'the only way you're going to win easy is you're going to have to play hard. The harder you play, the easier the game becomes."'

And the C's are intent on getting men to play harder, even if it means cutting a few current Celtics loose.

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

BOSTON – It appears there may be an answer to the mystery surrounding Josh Jackson’s decision to not work out for the Boston Celtics leading up to Thursday’s NBA draft.

While conventional wisdom tells us that such decisions are often made by the agent who in this case is former NBA player B.J. Armstrong.

Boston instead selected Jayson Tatum at No. 3 with the Phoenix Suns scooping up Jackson with the No. 4 pick.

MORE: Danny Ainge on Josh Jackson: 'He didn’t want to play for the Celtics'

During Jackson’s introductory press conference, there was a sense that it wasn’t necessarily Armstrong who strong-armed Jackson into not working out for the Celtics. But apparently, he got an assist from Suns General Manager (and ex-Celtics assistant GM) Ryan McDonough.

A reporter asked McDonough if Phoenix may have encouraged Jackson to cancel his workout with the Celtics who were flying into Sacramento, Calif. to watch Jackson workout only for it to be canceled after they had departed which as you can imagine, did not go over well with Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations.

“I’d like to consult my attorney B.J. Armstrong (Jackson’s agent),” McDonough said, smiling.

The more McDonough talked, the clearer it became that he and Armstrong were in cahoots to do all they could to get Boston to pass on Jackson at No. 3 which as McDonough mentioned, doesn’t break any rules.

“You guys all know my history with the Celtics and the respect I have for Danny Ainge and the organization,” McDonough told reporters on Friday. “But I think you guys who know me well know how competitive I am. Look, it is a competition. The Celtics were ahead of us at No. 3 and they could have selected whoever they wanted to. I think they got a very good player in Jayson Tatum, but that doesn’t mean B.J. and I and … other members of my staff couldn’t talk and try to formulate the best plan to get a player we were really high on to a place we felt he really wanted to go and would be a great fit for him.”

McDonough is right in that no rules were broken if he and Armstrong did decide to work together in an effort to get Jackson to Phoenix.

But to cancel the workout after the Celtics executives and head coach Brad Stevens had left, forcing them to spend a night on the road for a workout that Jackson’s camp probably knew wasn’t going to happen well before the Celtics contingent boarded for Sacramento … not cool.

Here are words I thought I would never say … the Ball clan got it right.

They told Boston from the jump that Lonzo Ball wasn’t going to work out for them, so the Celtics knew he didn’t want to be a Celtic from the very beginning.

Jackson’s actions said the same, but his words kept hope alive that he would work out or at the very least, talk to the Celtics organization – neither of which happened.

He kept referring to the fact that he didn’t think Boston was interested in him when they had the number one pick (that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if they asked him to work out for them; otherwise, what’s the point from the Celtics'  perspective of asking to work out a guy they had no interest in drafting?)

After they traded down to the number 3 pick, a deal that was cemented last weekend, Jackson said there wasn’t time to do a workout for Boston.

The draft was nearly a week away and he didn’t have time to work out for a team that had the third pick overall knowing that the top two picks (Markelle Fultz at No. 1 and Lonzo Ball at No. 2) were essentially accounted for?

“If I could have, I probably would have worked out for them,” Jackson said (with a straight face). “But I think everything worked out for the best.”

Yup.

Boston will once again be among the better teams in the East and will contend for the best record like they achieved this past season before their season ended in the Conference finals to Cleveland. 

Jackson will spend his rookie season playing a lot of minutes with a Suns team that probably won’t win as many games as he did a year ago at Kansas (33).

Enjoy.

Report: Celtics could land George if they sign Hayward

Report: Celtics could land George if they sign Hayward

As rumors swirl in this post-draft, pre-free agency week for the NBA, Adam Kaufman of 98.5 The Sports Hub reported Friday that the Celtics could land long-rumored target Gordon Hayward AND trade for Paul George. And Kaufman says George would be more than just a one-year rental.

Kaufman elaborated on a possible George deal on his "Celtics @ 7" show Saturday. He said the trade with the Indiana Pacers wouldn't cost Boston next year's Brooklyn pick, rather it would be the first-round pick (Lakers 2018 or Kings 2010) acquired this week from the Philadelphia 76ers when Boston traded down the No. 1 for No. 3, along with Jae Crowder and another salary filler. 

MORE CELTICS: 

Before you run out and buy that No. 13 Celtics Paul George jersey, Dan Feldman of NBCSports.com explains how financially disadvantageous it would be for George - long thought to want to head to the Lakers - to do this.