Rivers on NBA's new-look Competition Committee

673092.jpg

Rivers on NBA's new-look Competition Committee

PHILADELPHIA NBA coaches have longed to have more say in the rules governing the play of their respective teams.

Well, now they have it.

The NBA has revamped its Competition Committee in such way that coaches will now have a direct impact on the rules concerning play.

And among the coaches in that mix? Boston Celtics coaching czar, Doc Rivers.

The league announced on Wednesday that the Competition Committee, in its current form, will no longer exist.

In its place will be a 10-member committee that consists of two owners, four general managers, three coaches and a representative from the National Basketball Players Association.

Rivers is one of the three coaches on the committee, joined by former Celtic and current Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle, and Memphis head coach Lionel Hollins.

Others on the new Competition Committee include owners Dan Gilbert (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Joe Lacob (Golden State Warriors), a former part-owner of the Celtics; general managers Bryan Colangelo (Toronto Raptors); Mitch Kupchak (Los Angeles Lakers); Kevin O'Connor (Utah Jazz) and Sam Presti (Oklahoma City Thunder), a Concord, Mass. native and Emerson College alum.

The Board decided that the inclusion of owners and head coaches on the Competition Committee would add valuable perspectives to discussions about our game and how it might be improved, Joel Litvin, NBA President of League Operations, said in a statement.

As is the case currently, if the Competition Committee votes in favor of changing a playing rule or any other competition-related matter, the recommendation will be brought to the Board of Governors for its consideration and vote. The newly formed Competition Committee will meet on a regular basis with its first meeting will take place during the Finals.

Celtics-Cavaliers preview: Game 5 is about respect for Boston

Celtics-Cavaliers preview: Game 5 is about respect for Boston

BOSTON – From the outset of this season, the Boston Celtics were swimming upstream when it came to getting respect. 

No matter how many wins they racked up, no matter how many upsets they managed to pull off, they were never going to do enough to satisfy the court of public opinion which wanted one thing and one thing only from the NBA: A third installment of Golden State against Cleveland in the NBA Finals. 

The Warriors did their part by running through the West with 12 wins in as many playoff games. 

Meanwhile, the Celtics will try to not just stave off elimination tonight, but continue to delay what so many believe is an inevitable Golden State-Cleveland Final.

Boston’s Al Horford understands that while the league this season has seen lots of individual success as well as teams that have overachieved, the thirst for Golden State versus Cleveland remains stronger than ever. 

“We understand that’s what everyone has been talking about since the beginning of the season,” Horford said. “For us it’s just to focus … and play the Celtic way. And just come out here and fight and we’ll take it from there.”

The Celtics did that in Game 3 with Avery Bradley delivering one of the more memorable shots in the Brad Stevens era, a game-winning three-pointer that hit the rim four times before falling with 0.1 seconds to play as Boston squeaked out a 111-108 win.

Boston did a lot of good things in Game 4 and seemingly went into the half sensing that maybe just maybe they would even up the series at two games heading back to Boston for tonight’s Game 5 matchup. 

But Kyrie Irving picked up the slack for a foul-plagued LeBron James, lifting the Cavaliers to a 112-99 win which puts them now just a win away from advancing to the NBA Finals. 

Not only have folks both in the media as well as fans who have rooted for this series to be over, even merchandise sellers like Dick Sporting Goods have anticipated this series as already being over.

“It is what it is,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder. “It’s been like that all year; a lot of guys counting us out. At the same time, we’re trying to put ourselves in position to win each and every game.”

While that has been the goal, it certainly hasn’t worked out that way in this series. 

Despite Games 1 and 2 being at the TD Garden, the Celtics lost both games by a total of 57 points. 

And while they won Game 3 and had the Cavaliers on the ropes in Game 4 before losing, they know their chance to play NBA Finals spoiler is just about up. 

“We know that’s the Finals that everybody wants to talk about, what everybody is looking forward to,” said Boston’s Marcus Smart. “We understand it. But we work just as hard as these guys. We just have to keep going out there and working. We’re not going to give it to them, and stuff like that. We just have to make it tough on them.”