Doc to the Lakers? It might have happened


Doc to the Lakers? It might have happened

By A. Sherrod Blakely

The Boston Celtics had plenty of reasons to try and lock Doc Rivers up to a long-term deal, including keeping him from being a target of their biggest rival - the Los Angeles Lakers.

Phil Jackson kept his word and stepped down as Lakers head coach after they were swept in the second round of the playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks.

On Wednesday, the Lakers hired former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown.

If the Celtics had not signed Rivers to a five-year, 35 million contract earlier this month, there's a very good chance the Lakers would have made a run after him.

Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck cited that among the many reasons why the C's brass felt the need to offer Rivers a long-term contract instead of something shorter.

"I just looked at him, with my partners . . . we don't want to be interviewing a bunch of other guys," Grousbeck said to WEEI at a charity event for the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund. "This is a guy, we'd like to have him stay."

The C's didn't get Rivers' deal done until after the Celtics were eliminated by the Miami Heat in five games, but Grousbeck said on Wednesday he would have liked to have had it completed sooner.

"I thought we should have done it the week off, between New York and Miami," Grousbeck said. "Get it done so we're not in a bidding war with the Lakers and everyone else at the end of the season."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Following Thursday’s 105-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics will be on the prowl to rebound – literally – from its first defeat of the season.

Because for all that did not go right in Thursday night’s loss, the way Boston was beaten on the boards stands out emphatically.

“They got 24 more shots than us. We only turned it over (12) times,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the loss. “So that’s the obvious place they’re getting their possessions, on the glass. That’s going to be the number one thing, that has been the number one thing. It’s something we’ve talked about. We have to get better at it.”


Boston was out-rebounded 55-36 on the boards which heavily factored into Chicago’s 18-5 advantage in second-chance points.

In the Celtics' 122-117 win over Brooklyn on Wednesday, Boston won the overall rebounding battle 47-44, but had just 12 offensive rebounds compared to Brooklyn's 15 offensive boards. Despite the close margin, the Nets won the battle on the offensive glass running away, outscoring the Celtics 23-13 in second-chance points.

Stevens decided to start Tyler Zeller ahead of Amir Johnson to begin the third quarter, hoping Zeller would be a better matchup on the glass than Johnson who did not grab a single rebound in the 11 minutes of court time he got in the first half.

While Zeller did do a few good things on the glass and scoring in half-court sets, it wasn’t enough to swing the momentum Chicago was steadily gaining due to its ability to control the boards.

“I wasn’t real surprised but at the same time I knew it could happen,” Zeller told reporters, referring to Stevens’ decision to have him start the second half. “They did a good job of coming out and setting the tone. They beat us up on the boards, especially the first half. It’s something we have to get better at and continue to grow at.”

And it’s not a one-player or one-position issue, either.

Usually we think of bigs when it comes to rebounding. But Boston’s guards need to step up their rebounding game as well.

The struggles thus far have to be put in the context of this being just two games, the latter being the season opener for the Bulls who were jacked up more than usual due to it being the first game for Chicago native Dwyane Wade and ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo.

“We have to focus on boxing out,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “Guards have to do a better job. Guys like me, Al (Horford), Amir (Johnson), Tyler (Zeller) ... We have to do a good job of coming in the weak side and grabbing those; just focus on it, pay more attention to detail.”