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The Aftermath: Doc Rivers & Ray Allen Will Be Back and Players Reflect On Loss & Future

 

It’s been a mere 12 hours since the Celtics postseason run came to a crashing halt at American Airlines Arena. Unlike last year’s end, the end of the road this year seemed inevitable after Game 4. These guys played like hell last night, but seemed accepting of the fact after the game that they didn’t have the horses intact to take down a team of the Heat’s caliber.

The good news, is while there will be plenty of speculation on how this team moves forward, a lot of the biggest decision were announced last night. Doc will be back, Ray will be back, Jeff Green wants to be back, and Glen Davis says he does as will, but he also wants an opportunity to start. Here’s a breakdown of the key lines from everyone last night, with a huge assist from Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com

Doc Rivers

On Returning Next Year: “I’m leaning heavily to coming back. I haven’t made that decision. But I can tell you that I probably will. I’ve kind of come to that over the last couple of weeks. I’m a Celtic and I love our guys. I want to win again here. I do. And I’m competitive as hell. I have a competitive group, and so we’ll see. I love them. And I love the people I work for. It’s tough. So we’ll see. But that’s where I’m at today, for sure.” But I can tell you that’s where I’m at today. Tomorrow I may change my mind, but that’s where I’m at today.”

More from Gary Washburn at The Boston Globe from Doc on his decision process:

“Listen, there’s been a contract for basically three months there. (Team president) Danny (Ainge) and (co-owner) Wyc Grousbeck have been on the other side of patient,” he said after announcing he was leaning toward returning. “It gave us a long time to talk about it as a family. I haven’t signed anything or done anything but it’s there and I probably will sign it.”

“We only got one (child) left at the house and he basically told me he didn’t want me home,” Rivers said laughing. “It will be easier and that’s one of the things for my family because it’s only Austin playing and Spencer. The other two are graduated from college. And it will be less travel in a lot of ways and they can come see me more because my wife only has one kid in the house. So that’s big for us. I told (Wyc) before one of the games here, whatever you figure out with (my agent), I’ll probably do it.”

Doc on the offensive collapse at the end of the game: “I loved our effort tonight. Gosh, I mean, we missed so many open shots down that stretch, you know, maybe fatigue, or maybe we just missed shots, but Wade in the first half just killed us and made some very difficult shots. If you looked at the shots at the end of that game — we had open threes, I think Ray had two of them, Jeff had a layup, Paul had a layup — they hit two threes with one second on the shot clock fading out. You can’t ask much more than that. As long I’ve known basketball, it’s a make-miss league. It always will be. No matter if your shots are good shots and their shots are bad shots, if their bad shots go in and your good shots don’t, you lose the game, and that’s how I felt down the stretch.”

Doc on the injuries and lineups down the stretch: “I mean, [Jermaine O'Neal], his back tightened up at the beginning of the game, so he couldn’t play. Rondo’s shoulder, back, elbow, I just didn’t think he could move, so, we were obviously limited. But Nenad played terrific. He was phenomenal. He gave us one huge lift. And for Jeff, you know, it’s a great experience for him, it really is. You know, I think he sees the level, you know, and he’ll have this whole summer to think about it and work on it. I don’t think we ever got great games from our big three every [game] and to go against those two guys, they were super. And so, I’m happy. I’m happy with all the guys.

RAJON RONDO

On the elbow and back injuries: “You know, honestly, tonight, my back was hurting so much, the elbow really didn’t bother me tonight. I don’t know how that happened, but it just switched.”

On Doc’s potential return: “Well I’m going to put this on the record. Doc already committed and said he was coming back with me, so, he can’t go back against his word, so we’ll see.”

On the team’s future: “Oh, I’m sure it will. I think we [have] — I don’t know the exact number — but I think only maybe four or five guys under contract, so, [there's] definitely going to be a lot of new faces. Hopefully we get some of the guys that we have back. I mean, this is a great group of guys, and it’s going to be difficult to move on, but obviously it’s a business, and like I said before, there’s going to be a lot of different guys probably in the locker room next year.”

On the problems this year: “Fourth quarter slumps, I think. I haven’t had much time to think about it, but it’s not that we didn’t get stops, but we couldn’t put the ball in the basket in the fourth quarter again tonight. They gave us problems as far as just getting to the paint. Give them a lot of credit, [Dwyane Wade] attacked all night, and then LeBron caught up and followed, so, give them credit, they made their shots at the end as well. I think as far as the series, we were in it pretty much every game, it’s just, the fourth quarter, they did a better job of running their stuff and making shots and we didn’t.”

GLEN DAVIS

On his future: “I love Boston,’’ Davis said. “Boston’s where I started and I plan on wishing I can stay. But you never know. It’s like [Kendrick Perkins’s] situation. He’s been there eight years and he wanted to stay. But it just might not work my way. It’s just how it is. I’m just not going to watch TV for a while. Play with my daughter and be around my family and just let things take its course. “I feel like I’ve got a lot more to offer,’’ he said. “I want to show the world my talents, if it’s here in Boston or wherever.’’

PAUL PIERCE

How tough to go out like that?

“It’s a tough pill to swallow. We had expectations at the beginning of the year and we played so hard throughout the regular season for our opportunity to win a championship and when you fall short, it’s very disappointing. We have high goals around here in Boston. Right now I’m just really upset. I wish I could have played better tonight. Unfortunately we came up on the short end of the stick. I’ve got to take my hat off to Miami. They really played great basketball, Dwyane Wade, LeBron, Chris Bosh. They really led their team in this series and stepped up when they needed to.

Had lead late, what happened down the stretch?

“I thought, really, they made some threes. LeBron, he’s tough to guard when he’s shooting the three ball like he did tonight. James Jones hits a three. We just couldn’t get any stops down the stretch. Dwyane Wade constantly drove all night, got to the line. I thought we got some pretty good shots, got to the basket, it just didn’t fall and we came up on the short end of the stick.”

How strongly do you believe this core can still do it?

“I really believe it. For the most part, between me, Ray, and Kevin, we stayed pretty relatively healthy this year. Ray is probably the most healthy, in-shape guy in the league, so I have no doubts that he’ll come back strong for another three or four years, and KG, he got through another year. I think this is a healthy year for him for the most part, and I’ve been for the most part healthy, so I definitely believe we can come back and make another run at this.”

Given any thought how different team might look next year?

“Well I know it’s going to look different. I know that for a fact. Every year things are going to be done in the summer and when you have so many guys with this being the last year of their contract, you know it happens every year. So I know there’s going to be a few changes. I don’t know what, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

Kevin Garnett left the arena without speaking to the media.

  • aaron

    sounds great, let's go get em! 300 and some odd days till next year's finals. can't wait.

  • AussieCeltics

    I love the Celtics!! This loss still stings but they should hold their heads high with how they have played this whole season.

  • The good German

    It's great that they are already talking about coming back. I guess it's a little easier for them to accept the loss 'cause deep down they know with Rondo's injury and without a healthy/reliable center there was almost no way to win this series. And they still made every game winnable.
    To everyone who's crying "rebuild now", I think they deserve another chance no matter what happens.

    Also I'm all for giving BBD a chance to show his talents, just not in Boston…

    I'll be rooting for the Diggler now!

  • kricky

    Poor KG. I bet he is being really hard on himself. We were asking way too much from him this series. He just can't deliver that on a nightly basis. But he is still the best defensive PF in the league. I hope we can keep him and team him up with someone who can consistently score down low.

  • Tom

    PLEASE GET RID OF BIG BABY AND JEFF GREEN!! USELESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    • Brian

      All big bady does is make clutch baskets…….y would u get rid of him?

  • Rachel

    As sad as I am, it makes me even sadder to think how KG, Paul, Ray and the other guys must be beating themselves up right now. I hope they know how proud their fans are of their effort.

    As for next year, I sure hope they keep Delonte. Something tells me that Green could make a real contribution next year if he learns the celtics system. As for big baby… He’s got a lot of heart but I’m not sure there’s room on the roster for someone whose main skill is taking charges. He really sabotaged himself with his postseason play.

    Thanks to all the writers at celticshub for keeping us informed and entertained this season.

  • SDV

    Is it crazy to hope that a lockout shortens the season by like 2-3 months so that the boys will be be fresher come playoffs?

  • johnschaffer

    i am a true celtic fan for god so many years , i was back when cousy was in heyday, they do need to keep kristic and the big 4 and green anc west ,, baby needs to go someplace else , if they resign him ,which i hope they dont, they need to have a hell of a weight clause in contract, wafer would be a good sign , and love to see tyson chandler from dallas but i guess its wishful thinking

  • Pinoypride

    I been a true Celtic fan since I was born.when we went 2-0 in the series with Miami leading.It was Saturday when we went to Boston,the same day manny pacquiao fought Shane Mosley.when Boston won and pacquiao it was a great day for Filipinos and celtics fans.but us celtics fans were worried when rondo dislocated his left arm.that’s what got us we had to much injured players.next season we should focus on establish a new center,working on being healthy,and that defense we had in 08′ that won our title 17th. I think if we do that will bring our title 18th back to Boston. Celtic pride!!!

  • Matty

    KG is a warrior. I just want to see him finish out one more year. One more trophy. The tank's not empty yet. And that way he has no regrets. He's so proud he takes it personally. He's gotta be crushed. I am and I'm just a spectator!
    Allen and Pierce have a few seasons left. Unfortunately, Father Time and gravity aren't so easy on 7-footers, but KG owes himself one more run. Rondo hasn't even peaked yet. I like what Green and Krstic offer. I think with a full preseason, they'll be more consistent. D-West is a perfect blend of Rondo and Allen. Von Wafer even shows something too. I'd like to see him do one more tour of duty. Avery Bradley has potential and this team needs to start preparing the young bucks for the future.

  • Matty

    BBD tanked this postseason, but I'm not ready to give up on him just yet. Doc's got to keep on him about conditioning tho. His best year was when Garnett got hurt. His productivity went up and he slimmed down a bit. An extra few pounds hurt you in this league.
    There are only a couple of pieces missing. JO could be a decent defensive back-up center (at a good price); Krstic your offensive backup and Dwight Howard your starter.
    They need to make a play for a big-time center like DH. If they get him and 1 or 2 young guys, they win it all next year. He brings the youth and paint presence they need. Those were the two big issues that hurt them. Do you hear me Danny Ainge!?
    Thanks to the Celtics for a heck of a try. Your real fans have always been and will always be behind you. Ubuntu!

  • Morpheus

    Sorry i just had to post to say how hard i laughed at Baby wanting a starting gig.

    With KG and Ray, Doc coming back i think our main priority would be getting a center.

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