Why the contract doesn't matter.
prediction2003 at celticsbeagle.net
Tue May 4 10:21:06 CDT 2004
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,
"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
Snoopy the Celtics Beagle
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