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Doc Rivers Interview




| Oct. 18, 2005

Doc RiversThe 2005-06 NBA season starts soon. Here's what Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said about his team and the upcoming season on a recent conference call:

Q: Can you talk about the development of Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins?

Rivers: Al’s (Jefferson) has had a tough camp because he’s been hurt. He went through two practices, sprained his ankle and has yet to play since then. That hurts our basketball team and it hurts Al because he can’t get the minutes or the rhythm with the team on defense or offense. Perk (Kendrick Perkins), on the other hand, has been terrific. When you look at the two guys together, you see Al as your ‘offensive big’ and Perk as your ‘defensive big’ and it makes for a pretty nice tandem together for the future.

Q: How would you rate Gerald Green’s performance thus far?

Rivers: Gerald has flashes. There are days, and today was one of those days, where he looks like he was in high school last year and he struggles. I heard Emeka Okafor (Charlotte Bobcats) talk about this after the season where in the NBA, you’re put in the play, you run it and use it the next day while in college or highs school you work on the play for two weeks before you show it. This stuff is coming at Gerald so quickly that at times he gets lost. But then he’ll have that 10 minute flash in practice or that two minutes in the game, when you see who he’s going to be. That makes all the frustration that you go through at times worth it. He’s a hard worker. I’m very impressed with him. Everyday he’s in our practice facility. Yesterday, we had the day off and I was in my office watching film at about four or five in the afternoon and Gerald Green had been here for over two hours. A lot of us think these young guys don’t have a work ethic but this young guy does already and that usually means he will have a bright future.

Q: How is the point guard position shaking out?

Rivers: Thus far we have not played well at that position. Dan Dickau has been up and down and so has Delonte West. Those are our two guys right now. Marcus Banks has a stretch fracture in his tibia and will be out for three months, at least, and that puts more pressure on Dickau and West and we’re counting on both of them. We need those two guys to step up for us so we can run the ball up and down on offense and we can pressure the ball on defense.

Q: How tough is it evaluating five point guards at once?

Rivers: We have five guys trying to get in one or two spots. They have to split time in practice and in preseason games. But I think you have to go with your gut. I think it’s starting to shake it out and I see three that are still in the competition. Preseason usually allows it to shake out on his own because you can see it on who can play against other point guards rather than the guys you practice with everyday. I think it will shake out once we get through the preseason season.

Q: Talk about the signing of Brian Scalabrine?

Rivers: With Scal (Brian Scalabrine), we were really looking for an energy guy -- a big that can play in multiple positions and can stretch the floor and handle the ball. Scal fits in to what we’re trying to do offensively. Last year we were fifth in the league in scoring and third in field goal percentage but we were 25th in turnovers. So we really put a value on basketball IQ and Scal is a player who does that.

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