BOSTON -- Even in defeat, Celtics coach Doc Rivers maintains his sense of humor.
While breaking down Boston's 87-74 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday, Rivers noted how the Celtics, riding a four-game winning streak and having put together a phenomenal offday effort, seemed ready for Friday's challenge against a quality opponent.
Then the Celtics matched a franchise record by scoring a mere 25 points in the first half and couldn't rally their way back after the intermission.
"You know, it’s amazing, too, as a coach -- [Thursday] we had a phenomenal practice. Not a good one, [but] off the charts," explained Rivers. "And then [Friday morning], as a coaching staff we were talking about the shootaround -- it was the most focused we had been. Then this happens. So, [Allen] Iverson would love this conversation."
We talking about practice?
Actually, the Celtics are. With four days off before their next game, Boston has a chance to correct some of its main issues. The starters are scheduled to take two days off before reconvening on Monday, while reserves will sneak back on Sunday to get some additional court time together.
Rivers wants his team playing better immediately.
"Listen, we’re a 4-4 basketball team. That’s what we are," said Rivers. "You are what your record is; Don’t make no mistake about that. I mean, one of the guys said, ‘Hey, that’s alright, we’re better than that.’ And I said, ‘No we’re not. You’re what your record says you are. And you always have the ability to do something about that.' But right now, Indiana’s a 5-2 team and we’re a 4-4 team. And make no mistake: That’s who we are. That’s not who we want to be, and that’s not who we’re going to be, hopefully, but right now that’s who we are.”
Rivers did admit he's not overly concerned by the fact that the Celtics have feasted on the weak sisters of the league, while dropping a trio of games against potential Eastern Conference playoff foes (Miami, New York, and Indiana).
"Well, we’re 0-for against quality opponents," said Rivers. "But again, it’s eight games into the year, so I’m not going to overdo that."