Why the Contract doesn't Matter

R Howe regmanw6 at yahoo.com
Tue May 4 11:50:32 CDT 2004

Well thought out post, a lot of rehashed history of Doc's ending with the Magic that I am not aware from actual viewing. I cant comment directly of River's coaching ability or pulling a team like the Celts together. I do know he took a team, that when Hill went down, that not many gave much of a chance for success and made them overachieve by what most were expecting. Arguments thereafter abount not being able to get better talent over time and not dealing well with McGrady as time went on can be a concern if  he is making the choises of players for the Celts and thinking that he wont be able to contend w/Pierce based on his ending history with the Magic. Caviot to this line of thinking, is not allowing for the possibility for growth as a coach and learning from prior experience. Could anyone, based on his history as a head coach and awkward arrival, predicted the success of now sainted Bellicheck (sp?) or Torre with the Yanks where Yankee nation would revolt if George tried to fire
 him as he tried last year. Both were coaches with not so successful track records that did not forshadow thier current success. For me, it is enough to know for now that he is a competent young coach that gets along well with Ainge that they see eye to eye going into this partnership. for me this is a hopefull beginning. I do know he cant be worse than what we have had here over the last 6 or so years. 
Go Celts  

Snoopy the Celtics Beagle <snoopy at celticsbeagle.net> wrote:
Let's face it--the people who play for the team will be chosen by either 
the guy who was part of the Grant Hill fiasco in Orlando, or the guy who 
traded so many players that this year's Celtics player's guide was 
published in pencil. I'm not yet convinced EITHER of them is any good at 

By the way, there's been another difference of opinion with the 'ol 
Doc--this time with the Magic and former Magic manager John Gabriel. The 
Magic say that Rivers was part of a consensus over what players to get and 
use in Orlando. Doc has been distancing himself from that part of is 
career. In fact, when I looked at the press release from the C's, it said, 
in part:

"Despite having eight new players and the loss of six-time All-Star Grant 
Hill to injury in 2000-01, Rivers led the Orlando Magic to a 43-39 (.524) 
record, including a franchise record tying nine-game winning streak from 
and posted a 24-17 (.585) record during the second half of the season, 
which led to a berth in the 2001 NBA Playoffs.

During the 2001-02 campaign, Rivers helped the Magic improve on their 
previous season, finishing with a 44-38 (.537) record and their second 
straight playoff berth. Once again Rivers led the Magic to a strong second 
half with a 24-17 (.585) record.

In 2002-03 Rivers and the Magic finished with a 42-40 (.512) record and 
their third consecutive trip to the playoffs. Despite battling numerous 
injuries and starting 21 different lineups, the Magic finished the second 
half of the season with a strong playoff push, in typical Rivers fashion, 
with a 22-19 (.537) record.

Rivers has served as an analyst, paired with Al Michaels, for ABC Sports 
coverage of the NBA this season, following his dismissal from the Magic on 
November 17, 2003. He will continue his duties with ABC until the 
conclusion of the 2004 NBA Finals. Overall he compiled a 171-168 record 
(.506) in his four-plus seasons as Orlando's Head Coach, advancing the team 
to the playoffs three times."

You'll notice that amidst all the stats, there's no mention of his dismal 
record this past season--from which he was unceremoniously booted because 
the Magic were a major stinkeroo team this season. In fact, the Magic's 
record under Rivers in his final season was 1-10 as of November 17th--not 
to mention going 1-7 in the preseason. How ticked were the Magic at 
Doc? He was fired after losing to Utah on the road--and was told to find 
his own way back to Florida in the middle of a road trip.

My main concern about it is this--my contention that the Magic ARE where 
the Celtics COULD BE in a year or so. Like the C's, the Magic tried to 
contend in the EC with one dominant player--Tracy McGrady--and whatever 
four other guys they could get on the court with him. The Magic were as 
lost without Grant Hill--whom they kept expecting to miraculously 
return--as the Celtics were without Antoine Walker. The main difference is 
that Pierce is not only a better player, but was at least smart enough not 
to announce he had trouble breaking the double team.

I don't think Rivers is a great coach. I never have. He's a good 
coach--in that if you want to start building up a team to learn to play AS 
a team, he's ok. Atlanta as it is now would be great for him. But this is 
not a coach who will get you an NBA championship. Given the problems he 
had in Orlando, I find it hard to believe that he will do well while facing 
a nearly identical situation in Boston. A LOT depends on who actually ends 
up playing for the C's next season.

And I don't think EITHER of them has been all that impressive in their 
player deals so far. I'll be watching the offseason with great interest, 
and look forward to see what--if anything--we get for those three first 
round draft picks that seem destined to be used on kids who'll have to show 
up for the team bus since they won't be able to drive in many of the places 
they'll play.

Snoopy the Celtics Beagle
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