Doc Rivers returns to Boston for the first time since joining the Los Angeles Clippers – NBA BasketballFriday, December 13, 2013 21:57
The return of Doc Rivers to Boston was reason for celebration.
Doc Rivers returns to Boston for the first time since joining the Los Angeles Clippers
Everyone in Boston, every fan of the Celtics team loves, admires and respects most of all the former Head Coach of the team, Doc Rivers. On a Wednesday night game, the fans inside the TD Garden had the chance to show a bit of their appreciation, as Doc Rivers entered the arena. Only this time, he was on the floor as the Head Coach of the visiting team, the Los Angeles Clippers. This was the first time in the last 10 years that Rivers was on the floor of the TD Garden, as the coach of a team other than the Celtics.
This was the first time Rivers came back to Boston since he was traded by the team last summer. The reaction from him and the crowd was significant. Rivers seemed to be very emotional. He entered the arena saluting the home crowd and he shook hands with several fans. He also had a little chat with his former player, superstar Rajon Rondo, who is still recovering from his torn ACL injury. The crowd responded right back and gave Rivers a very warm ovation.
The Clippers finally got the victory with a 96-88 final score, after trailing in the first half. It is now starting to become obvious for him and the Clippers how big his impact is in the team. Thankfully, despite Rondo’s absence and although the Celtics started a deep rebuild this summer, they have managed to stay at a good level up to this point of the season. Their 10-14 record might not be an impressive one, it’s way below 0.500, but it gives them the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference. In a way, the C’s can be considered as successful up to this point of the season.
Of course, the Clips, who are now 15-8 after this victory, are in a much better place. In fact, they are contending for a championship and Rivers’s defensive mindset has lifted the team to another level, just as anyone expected.
The Clippers used a 22-point, 9-assist and 7-rebound performance from Chris Paul to roll past the C’s. His fellow superstar Blake Griffin followed with 18 points and seven boards, while Jamal Crawford came off the bench to score 21 points, including two dagger three-pointers.
For the Celtics, Jeff Green finished with a game-high 29 points on a 10-for-23 shooting night while he also sank four threes. Jordan Crawford was also very productive and aggressive, finishing with 20 points, nine assists and four boards.
The optimistic fact for both teams is that they look like they both benefited from Rivers’s trade. The Clips are in a much better position with Doc Rivers onboard, instead of Vinny Del Negro. However, the Celtics seem to be quite competitive, too and they can also feel optimistic about some facts. They do have a young and capable coach, in Brad Stevens, a bunch of draft picks over the course of the next seasons and a team that whilst it’s rebuilding, it manages to stay at a very high level. Seems like a win-win scenario.
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