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BOSTON (CBS) – After winning five straight, the Boston Celtics have now lost their last two at a pivotal point in the season.
After a sloppy second half in their loss to Chicago on Thursday night, Doc Rivers lashed out at his team’s effort, calling it “unacceptable” and “a crime.”
SI’s Chris Mannix joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The DA Show Friday night, and he said he was a little surprised at what Doc had to say, but it was certainly necessary.
“It is a little bit uncharacteristic for a guy like Doc to make those statements, but they clearly were warranted. For Boston to show up with that lackadaisical effort, especially when you consider what’s at stake at this point… a Top 4 finish means you get an easier [matchup in the playoffs] against Indiana or Atlanata; the 7-8 seed means you end up with Chicago or Miami. And If you look at what Philadelphia’s been doing the last month and a half, they’ve been doing everything they possibly can to give [the Atlantic] division away.”
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“So I understand why he’s frustrated. Was it a good idea? That remains to be seen. If they respond and play well over this next murderous trip coming up then it was a great idea. If not, it was much to do about nothing.”
Rivers also said “the cool Boston Celtics” showed up Thursday night. What did he mean by that?
“”To me, it meant a lack of urgency. It all circles back to the point that there needs to be that urgency with that team. they simply can’t play out the string, hope to get to the playoffs and then turn it on. the teams that they might be playing — specifically Chicago or Miami — are just too good,” said Mannix. ”(Winning the Atlantic Division) is not something they should be cool about at all. they should be absolutely pressing for and playing every possession like it’s the last of the season.”
Ray Allen returned Wednesday against the Spurs after missing six games with an ankle injury. He started against the Spurs, but then came off the bench against the Bulls. While he says he doesn’t mind coming off the bench with Avery Bradley starting, is Allen actually upset with this move?
“I think he has to be. I don’t believe at all that he was interested in coming off the bench; that just doesnt sound like Ray to me,” said Mannix. “It’s surprising that they’d go with that. You have to go back to the things that have gotten you here, and that’s Ray in the starting lineup.”
Can the Celtics make some noise in the playoffs? How vulnerable is Miami right now? Which national disaster does the Dwight Howard situation in Orlando remind Mannix of?