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Doc: Unsure of Changes to Starting Five for Game 4

Celtics fans can barely watch either

The final stand is upon us. After a dreadful Game 3 loss at home Friday night in front of a deflated TD Garden crowd, the Celtics will be fighting for their lives Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at the TD Garden, in what should serve as a quick turnaround for the postseason. Doc Rivers elected not to have his troops practice today in Waltham, but Rivers and company spoke to the media assembled on hand. As always Chris Forsberg and Greg Payne of ESPNBoston.com were on the scene and pass along a few nuggets of interest on what may be the second-to-last day of the season.

Doc is unsure what the starting lineup will be for Game 4 (Via Forsberg)

“Honestly, the plus/minus numbers tell us the small lineup is better. But I’m not so sure,” said Rivers. “Let me just put it this way: No lineup has been very good so far in this series. But our small lineups have been better than when we’ve gone bigger. Having said that, I’m still not so sure. Sometimes you gotta go against the numbers, and sometimes you go with it. I don’t know which one I’m doing yet.”

I’m kind of indifferent to the starting lineup talk at this point. Nearly every combination has sucked in one form or another. Brandon Bass has been wasted on offense as a bystander. The jump shooters are missing shots. Whatever Doc decides upon, it doesn’t matter unless the C’s start playing well. Otherwise, they’re doomed.

Terry gives a no comment on the J.R. Smith elbow

Terry didn’t bite on it when asked by reporters. Smith could serve a suspension for Game 4 if the league decides to impose one (we’ll find out soon either way), but Terry did speak on the C’s final stand.

“I’m coming out with something. I’m going to come out with the heart, the passion, the energy that’s needed to get a win,” said Terry. “We have to do that collectively. One man’s not going to be able to provide that. It has to be a collective unit and we’ve got to get it done together.” 

Everyone is mad

“It was quiet in the locker room yesterday,” said Bradley. “Everybody was real mad yesterday. Nobody was saying anything. Usually [coach] Doc [Rivers] talks and then [Kevin Garnett] and those guys talk to keep us all level, let us know that we’ve got to continue playing hard. But yesterday after the game, everybody was quiet and pretty mad.”

Does frustration translate into a win? How much pride will be shown? We’ll find out in mere hours.

  • WTF

    Well, Doc just threw up his hands, "I don't know…". That's not good enough, Doc! You are the coach of this team, the general who decides the war plan, you have to know! Your players are looking up to you. The series is lost, but I'm sure KG, PP and co want a fighting chance. This is not fair to my man KG when your coach says he does not know how to approach to the game.

  • Mark

    Sometimes there are no answers. It defies logic that they can play so damn well the first have and then absolutely disappear the second half. Games 3 aside of course because they sucked the entire game.

    Maybe there are just too many new guys for it to work?

    The one solution that would work is sitting on the bench with a bum leg. Short of that leg magically healing itself tonight the ride is over.

  • NZNICK33

    How about a coaching change for game 4?

  • The Cardinal

    "Doomed" – true dat! It's been pretty obvious since game 2 that the Knicks are clearly the superior team. Even if an absolute miracle happened and the C's managed to win 4 in a row (in my dreams and on Earth X maybe?), the Knicks are still the more talented team.

    On paper, the Knicks actually match up well with Miami and after seeing them the last 3 games, I believe they are capable of pulling off an upset (although it's unlikely). If the lingering D Wade knee problem flares up and everyone else on both sides remains relatively healthy, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Knicks upset the Heat.

    I believe this year's edition of the Knicks has the potential that last year's edition of the Celtics had, but with more overall talent and with a really good coach who is determined to prove that he's an elite coach. As a Celtics fan, I would much rather see the Knicks in the finals than Miami – I could then console myself that the Ray defection didn't push them over the top this year!

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