Doc Rivers was pleased when several players - most notably Kendrick Perkins - expressed dissatisfaction after Thursday night’s win in San Antonio. Perkins appeared to be more bothered by the fact that the Spurs grabbed 20 offensive rebounds than impressed by a win in what is always one of the toughest road stops in the league.
But this is how Rivers knows that his team has remained on message.
“We’re (9-1 on the road) and it’s great,” said the Celtics coach. “But I read the comments from some of our guys in San Antonio, and what I liked is that a lot of them weren’t happy with how we played.
“Those are good signs for your team,” said Rivers. “We’re winning games and we’re very happy with the record, but we’re not a finished product either.”I like that the team isn't happy, too. Remember last season, when the Celtics got off to a blazing start that Doc kept trying to tell everyone was a bit of fool's gold? The players seemed to buy into the notion that they were simply superior to every other team in the league, despite Doc's (correct) notion that they weren't, and overconfidence set in.
Whether it's because they lost a few games early in the season, or whatever else it may be, this season's crew realizes they still have work to do, and are staying grounded even after a nice 7-game winning streak.
And that sense of wanting more, the C's knowledge that they aren't close to being a finished product -- and not the winning streak or 16-4 record -- is what makes me very optimistic about this young season.