Speaking during his weekly appearance on The Dennis and Callahan Show, Thursday morning, Celtics coach Doc Rivers talked about the ups and downs both his team and individual players have endured throughout what has been 13-12 season thus far.
Regarding the team, and any assertion that some of the early-season struggles have to do with so many new faces, Rivers explained the inconsistencies were due to a variety of reasons.
"I understand the changes we made. We made a lot of them," said Rivers, whose team is coming off a 103-91 win over Cleveland Wednesday night. "One of our key guys has not played yet, but Avery [Bradley] is not Bill Russell. With that, plus with all the different changes -- guys buying into different roles -- it does take time. Did I think it would take this much time? I didn't. It also takes time for us as a staff to figure out the right combination. Not just the rotation, but the right group of guys who should play every night and the right group of guys who can stay consistent every night, and I think we're still searching for that.
"We're just not consistent enough. As a team, we're not consistent enough. Every night there are one or two guys who don't do their jobs."
Regarding return of Bradley, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, Rivers insinuated the guard was close, but still needed clearance from the team's medical staff.
"It really won't be me, it will be [head trainer] Eddie Lacerte and Doctor [Brian] McKeon," the coach explained. "Avery had a practice in Chicago and the team was asking him why he's not playing tomorrow. He was that good in practice. We can't forget it wasn't one shoulder, it was both shoulders. There's a time frame they want to go under and so we have to be patient with him.
"The practice was really important because they wanted to find out if he could take hits, and he did. It was a very physical practice and he came out looking great. But I do know that's a big factor. They want to make sure those shoulders are strong enough to not only take one hit, but take continuous hits."
One change Rivers made for the game against the Cavs was inserting both Jason Terry and Jason Collins in the starting lineup.
"Terry was easy," he said. "Until Avery comes back, whenever we move JT to the bench he just doesn't get as many shots, and it really has to do with not playing with a point guard because he comes in a lot of the time when Rondo is off the floor. JT needs somebody to get him the ball. I decided to put him back in the lineup until Avery gets back.
"The Collins part was something I've thought about for a while. We even thought about it with Chris Wilcox, but that doesn't have the same impact because a lot of times the big still guards Kevin [Garnett]. When you put Jason Collins on the floor it allows Kevin to be a four for about 10-12 minutes a game and takes some bumping away from him, and that's a good thing for Kevin."
Rivers was asked about the continued lack of consistency from Jeff Green. Green, who is averaging 9.4 points and three rebounds in 22.5 minutes per game, scored just three points in 14 minutes while finishing with a minus-17 when on the floor. The forward is a combined 2-for-10 from the floor in the past two games.
"We see up and down from Jeff," Rivers said. "Jeff has to go get it if he wants it. I still think at times he waits for us to make a call for him. Where we need Jeff … The scoring is one thing and to me that will be hit and miss. There will be nights he scores well, and there will be nights he struggles. Where we really need Jeff is doing everything else, rebounding, running the floor, getting energy points. And that's what we're working with him and talking to him about.
"Usually you are who you are. Jeff in Oklahoma City was more aggressive. One other thing I don't forget with Jeff was what he went through last year, so we're being patient in that way. I still believe he has an endurance problem and I think that has a lot to do with last year. So we're being patient."
For more Celtics news, go to the team page at weei.com/celtics.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Christopher Price discuss Logan Mankins' breakdown of the offensive line and how it will look without Dante Scarnecchia. They also discussed Mankins' rebuttal to Brandon Spikes.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Bill Parcells' Patriots Hall of Fame candidacy.
Tom Curran calls the show to discuss the Vince Wilfork contract situation. After texting with Vince this morning, Curran says that Vince's camp is possibly trying to put the "genie back in the lamp" and that the possibility of the Pro Bowl DT returning to the team has improved.
We wrap up the Celtics season by speaking with Celtics president Danny Ainge about this past season and the team's future.
Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck joins Mut and Merloni to discuss and reflect on the Boston Marathon Bombings a year later.
Jackie MacMullan talks some Celtics with Mut and Merloni as the season is winding down and the team is positioned to have a high draft pick.
Dave O'Brien and Joe Castiglione talk with Red Sox pitcher John Lackey after he goes 8 solid innings in a great performance, while giving the Red Sox bullpen a night off. Lackey talks a little about what he thinks about Michael Pineda's ejection for having pine tar on his neck.
We check in with John Farrell live from Fenway Park with Dale, Holley and Steve Lyons. We talk Boagearts, Buchholz, Pierzynski, Lester, the losing and much much more.
Tim Wakefield discussed the Sox tough start to the season. He is optimistic that the guys can turn it around.
Andy Brickley, NESN; Joins Mut and Merloni to recap the Bruins win against the Red Wings in game 3
Shawn Thornton joined the show to discuss the Bruins win last night over the Red Wings. Shawn talked about Marchand's agitator status within the league.
Pierre McGuire of NBC Sports joins the program to talk about Game 3 between the Bruins and the Red Wings. He also discusses the issue of targeting player and weighs in on Matt Cooke's vicious knee hit to Tyson Barrie.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. The guys talked about Colbert joining Dave Letterman last night.
Aaron Boone joins Mut and Merloni to talk about the early season troubles the Red Sox have had and the defensive struggles.
Andy Brickley, NESN: Joins Mut and Merloni to recap the Bruins win against the Red Wings in game 3.
We tackle four topics all revolving around big time milestones in sports.
We discuss the Bruins win to take a 2-1 lead in Detroit, and how Brad Marchand is once again (for better or worse) making his presence felt in a series. Hey, he may be a rat, but he's OUR rat.
Nifty jumps on the Planet for an hour.
Lou Merloni did play-by-play with Joe Castiglione today and then joined The Planet Mikey Show to talk about what went wrong, and a few things that went right as the Red Sox started their campaign to defend their World Series title.
WEEI.com's Chris Price joins John Ryder and Chris Villani on Planet Mikey to discuss the signing of Revis Island
The 4th addition of WEEI’s Fantasy Football Offseason Podcast is loaded and ready. In this week’s conversation Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson of Rotobahn.com dig into the sinking draft stock of Teddy Bridgewater (much too their chagrin), while refocusing and emphasizing the immense scouting work done by Pete on players like Bridgewater, Zach Mettenberger, Blake Bortles, Bishop Sankey & Lache Seastrunk. Also, Jim & Pete touch on news from around the league regarding new Jet, Chris Johnson, Montee Ball in Denver and help you tune out all of the negative noise some in the media are trying to push. We’re not buying! Lots of Football love in this podcast for the Football lover. Enjoy!
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports joins DJ to break down the first-round matchup between the Bruins and Red Wings. Also discussed is Zdeno Chara's Norris candidacy, transparency with voting for the NHL awards and whether the Canadiens will get out of the first round.
The Red Sox' High-A minor league team in Salem recently had a 16-game winning streak that spanned two seasons. So what? From the standpoint of making prospects better and fostering player development, does that matter? Salem manager Carlos Febles (who managed Salem for the end of their winning streak, but who was also in charge of a 50-87 Single-A Greenville team in 2013) and Salem radio play-by-play man Evan Lepler discuss -- while also touching on a number of prospects in search of the next Earl Weaver and Vinegar Bend Mizell.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. Today the guys discussed David Gregory's tanking Meet The Press ratings.More from this show
Dale and Michael speak with Patrice Bergeron on the phone from Detroit on Marathon Monday fresh off a Bruins optional skate. Patrice talks about the B's slow start in game one, putting it all together for the team in game two, how the rest of this series might play out, and what this anniversary of the Boston Marathon means to him.More from this show