Rivers: 'Selfish' Celts a 'me-first' team

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Rivers: 'Selfish' Celts a 'me-first' team

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON The Boston Celtics take pride in being a self-less group of players.

But something has changed. Something isn't quite what it used to be.

And this change, is definitely not one for the better.

The Charlotte Bobcats became the latest squad to hand the C's an unexpected defeat as they rallied in the fourth for an 83-81 win.

As you talk with the players, the reasons for the team's less-than-stellar play of late runs the gamut.

But of all the issues the C's face, none seems more paramount than the team's lack of ball movement.

Nowhere does this appear more obvious than the assists totals - or rather, lack of assists.

Against the Bobcats, the Celtics tallied just 15 assists - a number that Rajon Rondo has frequently racked up by himself.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers believes the struggles of late have a lot to do with the players being selfish, a stinging indictment that comes on the heels of him calling his team "soft" in the first half of Monday's win at New York.

When guys make mistakes, lately they tend to mope instead of making it right.

"Everything is 'me, me, me on our team right now," Rivers said. "Feeling sorry for themselves, instead of giving themselves to the team and playing. You can just see it manifest throughout the team. Until we can get through that, we will continue to have results like we had (Friday night)."

Kevin Garnett echoed similar sentiments following Friday's loss.

"Everybody is trying to do it themselves," Garnett said. "I know Doc is stressing ball movement to the whole group, the whole team. (Saturday) we'll go and watch the tape and try and better ourselves."

While the Celtics' defense gave up a staggering 30 points in the fourth quarter, they only gave up 83 for the game - a total that on most nights, should be enough to win.

Generating more scoring has been one of the C's biggest issues during this late-season lull that they're currently in.

While players don't completely buy into the idea that they're playing selfish basketball, even Paul Pierce acknowledged that it does happen "from time to time."

He added, "That's the reason why we don't shoot a high percentage, or score 100 points, because the ball is sticking when we usually make extra passes. That's when the offense is flowing, and we're able to get out there on a break and get easy opportunities. You haven't been seeing that, and that's why we're shooting a low percentage and that's why we're not scoring."

Or winning against teams like the Bobcats that the Celtics know they have no business losing to.

"I'm pretty sure they are over there and still can't believe they won this game," said Boston's Delonte West. "Disappointing how we closed it out, but that's us."

For now, he's right.

But this kind of basketball won't cut it, especially if the C's are to have any shot at bringing home Banner 18.

"We just have to figure out a way to come out of it," Garnett said. "Every team is going to go through little something. We all have to do this together. Everybody has to pick it up and change this."

Added Pierce: "We're all veterans; we've been here before, and we all know what it takes. It's got to come from each individual to take a look in the mirror, and look inside and decide if that's what they want to do. We can talk about it everyday, but until we look at ourselves in the mirror, that's what it's going to be."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Game notes: Celtics look to extend Kings’ Boston losing streak to nine

Game notes: Celtics look to extend Kings’ Boston losing streak to nine

BOSTON – Here are a few odds and ends to keep an eye on heading into tonight’s game against the Sacramento Kings: 
 
· The Celtics have won eight in a row over the Kings in Boston, with the last loss to Sacramento at the TD Garden coming on Jan. 19, 2007. Current Celtic Gerald Green was in the starting lineup that night. 

· Only six times in franchise history have the Celtics launched 38 or more 3-pointers in a game, four of which came in the month of November this season. 

· Speaking of 3-pointers, 36.2 percent of Boston’s shots are 3s. That ranks fifth in the league behind Houston, Cleveland, Brooklyn and Golden State.

· Don’t be surprised if Avery Bradley gets off to a good start tonight, especially from 3-point range. He’s shooting 59.1 percent on 3s in the first quarter which ranks second in the league. 

· Isaiah Thomas tallied 395 points scored in November, the most by a Celtic since John Havlicek had 406 points in November during the 1971-1972 season. 

· Boston leads the NBA in points scored (46.3 per game) by second-round picks. The Celtics’ second-round picks include Isaiah Thomas; Jae Crowder; Amir Johnson; Jonas Jerebko; Demetrius Jackson and Jordan Mickey.

· The Celtics are 5-0 this season when they outrebound an opponent. 

· Tonight’s game will be Boston’s fifth set of back-to-back games this season. In the first game, they are 3-1 this season. On the second night, they are 2-2.

Kings Insider James Ham: "DeMarcus Cousins loves Sacramento; more likely to sign contract extension than get traded"

Kings Insider James Ham: "DeMarcus Cousins loves Sacramento; more likely to sign contract extension than get traded"

CSNCalifornia.com Kings Insider James Ham joined Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely on this week's Celtics Talk podcast to talk about DeMarcus Cousins and the never ending trade rumors.