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WEEI » This Just In » Rivers: Title window is 'closing' for C's
Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:04am  

Rivers: Title window is 'closing' for C's

Celtics coach Doc Rivers appeared on the Dennis and Callahan Show Thursday. Rivers was asked about the compacted 66-game NBA schedule, which could be a problem for a Boston team featuring veterans Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

"Listen, the last four years we started out great," said Rivers. "I think if they had stopped the season after 30 games we'd have won four championships in a row. Unfortunately, we don't, and so the first thought for us going into the season is that we have to finish the season. Obviously, what's happened is injuries. We get into a season and injuries happen and we can't finish the year. Last year was a great example of that, we just didn't finish the year. So with 66 games, the only thought going in is that you are going to need more guys to play, you're going to have to deeper into your rotation and then every single coach is going to have to be a master manager of rest and time."

Rajon Rondo has been the subject of many trade rumors in recent weeks, but Rivers told Dennis and Callahan that he expects Rondo to be with the Celtics for the season opener in New York on Christmas and for "many years to come." 

"I don't know if he's our best player, but he's our most important player," Rivers said of Rondo. "I don't know who our best player is, I always stay away from that. With this team, there are guys on given nights … Paul [Pierce] is our best player, so is Ray [Allen], so is Rondo, so is Kevin [Garnett]. Rondo makes it all go, he is the guy that allows the other three guys to be great still, if you know what I mean. Someone asked me who the smartest player in the NBA was, and without hesitation -- and I guess I'm biased -- I told them Rondo is. There's no doubt to me about that."

With Garnett and Allen in the final years of their contracts, and with Pierce turing 34 in October, Rivers was asked if this season is the last chance for this group to win a championship.

"In my mind, this is a one-year window for us," Rivers said.  "It's closing, there's no doubt about it."

To hear the interview click on the Dennis and Callahan audio on demand page. For more Celtics news visit weei.com/celtics.




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