Doc Rivers made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan Show Thursday, the morning after the Celtics beat the Kings, 99-81, at TD Garden for their second straight win after six consecutive losses.
“In spurts, last night, we played well,” Rivers said of the victory over the struggling Kings, who beat the Celtics handily on December 30.. “The second quarter was as well as you can play. When you win games you would have to say, yeah, it’s going well.”
The Celtics are now 2-0 since losing Rajon Rondo for the season with an ACL tear in his right knee. A vocal minority have speculated that perhaps this team might be better off without the services of the All-Star point guard, a notion the coach dismissed quickly on Thursday.
“That’s silly,” Rivers said. “The bottom line is that you’d rather have him. But we do have other guys that can do different things. Having Courtney Lee and Avery [Bradley] gives you size at the guard spot. They are more physical guards so in that way that helps. Everybody does different things and that’s basically who we are now.”
Rivers was asked if other players might view the loss of Rondo as a chance for a greater opportunity to contribute to the team for the rest of this season.
“I don’t know, I just think more minutes helps anybody,” Rivers said. “We lost six games in a row and I thought it was time to start playing better. We did play well against Chicago, we just didn’t win a game. We played well against Atlanta and then lost the game. I thought we were starting to play better anyway, and that was with Rondo.”
With the February 21 trade deadline looming, there have been rumors that the Celtics might make a major trade that would signifiy the start of a rebuilding process for this franchise. Rivers, though, is hopeful that Danny Ainge doesn’t feel the need to make such a deal.
“I think Danny likes our team, I think he thinks we can be good with what we have and I think Danny is Danny. He’s got to do his job, he has to keep looking and see if he can help the team. But there’s been no talk about pulling the plug or anything like that. … We’re not out there searching.”