Doc Rivers Isn’t Panicking Despite Boston’s Rough Start

It hasn’t been the most ideal start for the Boston Celtics. Doc Rivers’ club just finished a stretch in which the Celtics played seven games in 10 days and four games in five days. Going into Wednesday night’s action, Boston stands at 6-5, fourth in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. NBA fans aren’t used to seeing the Celtics struggle out of the gate, but it’s still very early on in the season. As for Darko Milicic? Rivers may be losing one of his veteran center’s for good this season due to his mother being ill. Doc Rivers joined WEEI in Boston with The Dennis and Callahan Show to discuss his evaluation on the state of the Boston Celtics, the Rajon Rondo 10-assist streak not mattering to him as a head coach, Darko Milicic possibly leaving the Celtics, the team not calling up a rookie from the D-League if Milicic were to leave and Rondo’s 10-assists per game streak being cheapened if he does it in garbage time.

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Your evaluation of the Boston Celtics here before Thanksgiving?:

“Too early to tell. I do like where we’re going, we’re trending; we’re getting better in a lot of areas. Also understand we just came off the toughest stretch that we’re going to have this season, as far as seven games in 10 days, four games in five. We don’t have another stretch like that this year. So when you watch, let’s say the Detroit game, you’re trying to evaluate more on conditioning and fatigue, just so many other factors, instead of just watching your team play basketball.”

Does the assists streak for Rajon Rondo matter to him? Does it matter to you?:

“It doesn’t matter that much to me, honestly. I can tell you I honestly didn’t know about it until maybe a week ago, because I don’t read much stuff. Then I heard the chatter before games, the reporters were asking about it, so then you know about it. I think it does matter to him, there’s no doubt about that. I just don’t want it to matter to him more than just playing his game. And I think for the most part he’s done that. The other night I’m sitting there thinking we’re going to lose the game with five minutes left; you could clearly see that. And that’s the first time that I turned around and asked someone, ‘Hey, how many assists does Rondo have?’ He had eight, and I decided to leave him in and see if he can get two more.”

What’s the situation with Darko Milicic right now?:

“It’s up to him right now. He has some family issues, more his mom. Not playing, and being in another country, and the NBA hasn’t gone exactly great for him over his career. So, it’s a lot of reasons for him to want to leave. And I understand that, and I told him that. So, I pretty much left it up to him. He has my blessing either way.”

You have two 2012 draft picks playing with the D-League’s Maine Red Claws. If Darko Milicic was to depart, would one of the rookies get called up?:

“I don’t think we’re in any rush to do that. If we see somebody out there that we think can help us if Darko leaves, then yes. If not, patience usually helps in our league. Especially after the All-Star break, guys get released, other guys become available. I think we’ll be patient.”

Does it cheapen Rajon Rondo’s 10-assists-per-game streak if he does it in garbage time?:

“Yeah, but in that case it’s not like everyone stopped playing. The other team absolutely didn’t stop playing. I just left him on the floor. If that had been a close game, he’d have been on the floor. So, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.”

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