Rivers Not Concerned About Lakers, Focused Solely On Heat
Doc Rivers isn’t concerned about the Lakers and their recent acquisitions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.
“Honestly, I don't care about the Lakers,” Rivers said. “My honest thought as a coach right now…I have my eye squarely on Miami. I come up to my players during the year -- they're in the facility now -- I bring up Miami every single day to them. I want them to hate them. I want them to beat them. That's got to be our focus.
“I think the Lakers are better,” Rivers continued. “I’m actually not one that thinks they’re way better. The guy they traded, (Andrew) Bynum, we struggled to guard him. Dwight is a great player, but we’ve guarded him pretty well.
“Offensively, the Nash part is different. I look at them and wonder how that’s going to work. I hear they’re going to run the Princeton offense, which I want to see the ball move, I want to see Kobe (Bryant) keep moving the ball.
“But it’ll be interesting. They’re really good.”
Rivers discussed specific points of emphasis for the coming season, and once again his thoughts drifted back to the Heat.
“We have to get to the foul line because when you get to the foul line -- that's one of the big things now in our league -- if you can get to the foul line, you can become a dominant defensive team because you get to set your defense every single time,” Rivers said. “If you keep missing shots against Miami, you're going to let them run back and forth. I told our guys, ‘I'm smart enough to know that if we get in a track meet with Miami, they're probably going to win, but if we get into a thinking meet, we will win that game.’
“When we play them, that’s how we have to turn the game. We want them to think. We want them to play under thought, not with their instincts.”