Doc Rivers had his weekly interview with Dennis and Callahan over at WEEI this morning. A few interesting excerpts from their conversation about all things Celtics:
On Rasheed’s launching up 3 pointers at a historic rate:
It’s in the context of the offense, but I tell him and Eddie [House] every time they’re open to shoot it. Don’t hesitate. I’ll be the guy that will pull them back. Early on last night you could see Rasheed pass up a couple to get to the second option, which is something we want him to do. But we want him looking for it. We don’t want him thinking about shooting [too much.]
On what the team shoots for each game, turnover wise:
Right now it’s 14 for us. Because we’re trying to run a little more we figure they’ll be up. But if we can average 14 turnovers I can live with that.
On what key stats Doc looks for in a box score:
Field goal percentage for us is misleading because we count open shots. You do glance it, but we have our own stat on field goal percentage because it counts as open shots. Offensively, we know that is we miss 10 wide open shots we’re not upset by that. Obviously we want them to go in, but we know on average they will go in. It’s the same thing defensively. We’ve had games where the other team shot 41 percent and we look at the film and look at our own adjusted field goal percentage and we don’t like the game anymore.
Rebounding, turnovers and assists: those numbers don’t lie. That’s a number we always look at. Defensively, besides field goal percentage, we look at deflections, which they don’t put on the stat sheet. That’s really important. If our deflections are up, usually that means that we’re really active.
On what Doc thinks the team needs to work on, despite it’s 7-1 record:
The discipline, our pick and roll coverage had been slipping. Our transition D had been slipping. We didn’t close out the corner 3’s, and we’ve been giving up a ton of corner 3’s in the games before that. Offensively, really timing. Timing on the second and third options. I thought we were getting impatient offensively and taking quick, uncontested shots. We did a better job last night making the extra pass that led to the assist.
A few notes on Doc’s thoughts, after the jump:
First, the Wallace 3′s. Doc clearly went to bat for his player’s shot selection here and I tend to think that confidence will continue as long as the Celtics keep winning. One key quote though: “I’ll be the guy to pull them back” Doc at least acknowledging that possibility is as good as any Celtic fan can hope for. In the meantime, Doc wants Sheed to get comfortable in the context of the offense and if that involves him launching 3′s at will, so be it. No need to ruffle any feathers this early, if the C’s are winning.
Re: The Turnovers
Doc wants 14 a game and so far the team is right at that pace, averaging 14.3/a game through 9 contests. My question after hearing that number, was how does 14 turnovers/game compare to the overall average in the league last year?
A quick inspection of the numbers tells me that 14 turnovers a game was exactly the league average out of all 30 teams last year. So Doc wants the C’s to be an average team as far as turnovers go, a far drop from their 3rd worst in the league ranking last year. My question to everyone, especially turnover resident expert Zach Lowe? Is this feasible with this team?
Re: The Box Score
I have to say, I like Doc’s methods here by adjusting percentages based on opener jumpers. When you have a great shooting team like the C’s, it’s knowing you are getting those kind of open looks over the course of the regular season which is more important than whether they are falling in a particular game. The deflections stat is an intriguing one too. All in all, good stuff from Doc.