Post-game Reactions

Doc Rivers and Jason Terry are old school guys. Rivers came from an era where guys played through concussions and were beaten up all over the floor most nights compared to today’s era. Terry is an ironman who has just missed a handful of games over his entire career. He’s probably played through plenty of injuries in his career (including a knee injury this season) and he should be applauded for that.

Comments from both of these guys caught my eye last night during the aftermath of the C’s loss to Dallas. For some background, in case you missed the game, the Celtics were the midst of a 11-4 late in the fourth quarter, trimming a 12-point deficit to five with just under two minutes remaining. Dallas had the ball out of a timeout and missed a jumper, before grabbing another offensive rebound.

Upon Courtney Lee guarding the ball during the sequence, he landed on the foot of Mike James while pressuring the ball, spraining his ankle in the process. Unfortunately for Boston, while Lee appeared to be in serious pain on the sidelines, without showing any inclination to get up, the play continued. Eventually, O.J. Mayo hit a wide-open three-ball and the C’s comeback was effectively doomed.

To put it kindly, Rivers and Terry weren’t particularly pleased during the postgame press conferences about Lee’s inability to get up and finish out the defensive sequence. Let’s start with Doc’s comments:

On what Rivers saw when Lee went down: “I didn’t think it was a major injury, I can tell you that….”I was hoping he could get up because we needed him to get up. It was the damnedest play. You’re making a run, you’re down five and you got a guy laying on the floor. It felt like it took 40 seconds, they make a 3. We were stuck, do you foul? Down five, you don’t want to take a foul, you’re just hoping someone misses a shot and somehow we got a rebound. But it didn’t work out for us.”

On what Jason Terry thought when Lee was down:  “Get your ass up. If your bone is sticking out of there….I don’t know….I don’t know how he’s feeling right now, but we’re trying to win a game….I mean…I don’t know.”

You can see full video of Lee’s comments (which I strongly suggest you do) by watching the video on CSNNE.com at the top of this link.

CH’s Take:  I have a few different thoughts on this. By all accounts now, Lee is okay. He was able to put pressure on the ankle after the game, and is considered questionable for tonight with a sprained ankle. That’s the most important thing, as far as this team is concerned.

With that noted, these comments carry a lot of heat from both Rivers and Terry, essentially questioning Lee’s ability to play through pain. Now some of their thoughts can be attributed to frustration mounting after a tough loss, and hopefully that’s the case here. You do have to wonder though if there’s more to them though.

Rivers knows Lee well, dating back to his childhood, so it was pretty shocking for me to see him throw Lee under the bus indirectly like this. That speaks volumes to me, since when you look back at the frustration Rivers was feeling about this team and particular players earlier in the season, with the “we’re going to get some guys out of here” talk in January, you wouldn’t be wrong to wonder whether Lee was on the top of that list with this kind of talk from Rivers. Doc chooses his comments wisely most nights and I feel like he did so here.

Terry was much more frank. Again, part of me likes this mentality, the win-at-all costs demeanor. The other side of me questions this strongly though. What gives Terry the right (especially with his recent performances) to call his teammate out like that during an injury situation? How does he know how much pain Lee was in? Is there more to this story than this? Probably, but we’re only left to wonder who respects who in that locker room right now.

Either way, this all probably blows over, especially if Lee plays tonight. Still, if the C’s continue their swoon, a watchful eye will have to be placed on this team’s demeanor on the floor and towards each other.

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • boston bobby

    We need to get back to running floor spacing and a attack attitude. Maybe the team needed to get some feathers ruffled.

  • Mark

    Rondo would have got up. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    • JKeyes

      Right, because Rondo always hustles on defense against sub .500 teams…

  • High Rollers

    Lee likely out tonight and KG too possibly? Wow.

    Lee, KG, Rondo, Sullinger, Barbosa. That's like a whole team right there.

    Well, we've got some skeleton basketball to play in Memphis and try to rattle those big ol' Griz with. You never know. I wonder who will start… P, Green, Bass, Bradley, and ?

  • High Rollers

    I'm sure Doc's angrier that his team has taken so many hits from fate this year that his group can't afford the least bit further injury. There's really no insurance. That's stressful enough, but to lose close games too? If that doesn't lead to finger-pointing, I don't know what will.

  • The Rondo Show

    I say trade Terry or Lee for JJ Redick… in other news I just got killed by almost 40 on PRO at NBA 2K13 by Memphis (Lee and KG were in though and Pierce “had the flu) lol

    • Anthony

      LOL… Are you kidding me? Lose by 40 on PRO level? All you have to do is use Jet to shoot the wing 3s, he's automatic. And use Rondo to roam and make steals. So far I have Rondo averaging 15ppg, 3reb, 13ast, 7stl on a 7min game. T-Will is pretty good in the game also.

  • KillerGymRat

    Kinda disappointed to see these remarks from those two. Jet is less surprising. He's newly a Celtic and probably doesn't get that loose talk like that isn't something that happens with this team. WIth Cuban setting the tone Dallas is another story, but the guys in Green they make no excuses and I can't say I've ever seen them in the KG era talk trash about other players directly.

    Doc is a bit shocking. There are a lot of reasons we lost that game. Lee not getting up with a turned ankle is certainly not high on that list. How about boxing out and getting rebounds. It was a parade to the glass and we made Brandon Wright look like an all-star and Matrix look like a rebounding stud.

    I've (unfortunately) turned my ankle playing ball many a time and it's such a tricky injury. I've had one's where I thought I broke it and had to be carried off the court but could walk fine the next day. And one's where I continued to play and thought it was nothing but had serious tendon damage and wound up on crutches.

    Criticizing a guy who is hurt on a play is just lame. I don't know what goes on in the locker room, but Lee has been one of the few consistent players all year. He doesn't give much. But he gives it every night.

    • kg215

      I'm also a bit shocked to see these comments, it's a passive aggressive way of calling out Lee. At the time we didn't even know if it was an ankle injury, some people thought it might be knee related. Maybe that is what they both thought it was and then they were like "aww it was just an ankle sprain, you could have gotten up." That 3 pointer hurt us big time, but I am pretty sure Lee didn't know how serious the injury was either. What if it was the knee or if he literally broke his ankle, is he still supposed to get up finish the play then deal with it? Probably just both of those guys venting after the frustrating loss. Doc's gotta be frustrated because the team is slacking/playing down to the competition, and Terry of course really wanted to beat his old team even if he did leave on great terms. Hopefully they talk it out with Lee in private, maybe apologize too and it doesn't hurt our chemistry.

  • hydrofluoric

    Yikes… this is ugly.

  • Morpheus

    Damn, this is something else. Surprising, coming fron Doc. Something to keep an eye on for sure.

  • Zaa

    Thanks for motivating your players Doc (Sigh, by criticizing your injured player). If you are one of the best coach besides Popovich, why don't you figured on how to use your bench players more effectively. Every year is always the same, used your starter until they die on the court. As far as I see, you have a young bench that knows how to play. The problem is, your "genius strategy" is so complicated which at the end only 6 players knows how to play it. if that's the case, next time just keep 6 or 8 players for the season so the Celts can save money. I know basketball is not an easy game but, it is obvious that Doc Rivers never know how to develop newcomers. No wonder Popovich is the best coach and Spurs is very well balanced team since they always do a great job in grooming their newcomers.