http://www.boston.com/sports/basket...body_language_said_it_all_in_latest_loss?pg=2WALTHAM -- The Celtics received a lesson in body language yesterday at practice. Coach Doc Rivers replayed the embarrassment that was the first quarter against Philadelphia, when Boston fell behind by 26 points, shot 25 percent (5 for 20) from the floor, and got outscored, 38-13, Sunday afternoon at the FleetCenter. But he was not concerned about the numbers. He wanted the Celtics to watch the way they carried themselves, to see the contrast between their effort and that of the Sixers. It was the start of what Rivers called a "good" nearly two-hour practice.
Focusing on body language seemed a fitting way for the Celtics to regroup from the costly 97-93 loss to the Sixers. Sometimes it's better to show, not tell. And Rivers admitted he liked to pick his spots when verbally chastising the team. The film session seemed more educational than anything else.
Boston could not afford to dwell too much on the past with a big road game tonight in Washington. The Celtics may have a three-game lead in the Atlantic Division, but with the Sixers owning the tie-breaker in head-to-head competition, it really is only a two-game advantage.
"Having a cushion and trying to get them to see we're not in the playoffs yet, let alone winning our division, some teams need a shot," said Rivers. "Maybe that's what we need. I don't know. I know our road is not easy from this point on. We only have three home games left and we have to win a lot of games. We've made it tougher for ourselves, but to me, we made it that way. Now, we have to get out of it. Again, it's in our hands, but we have to do something about it. We don't want help."
At the same time, Rivers understands there are only so many ways he can inspire his team. While the coach often willingly takes responsibility, if the players don't come prepared to play, there's nothing much he can do.
"We've been a pretty good bounce-back team," said Rivers. "We have a great record in back-to-back games on the second night. [The resiliency] comes from them. It won't come from my pushing. I can remind them and I can show them and I can try. I go the other way. I start working on execution. If you're not going to play physical, you have to execute perfect. If you can get them to execute perfect and then be physical, then you're really good. That's what I'm trying to get us to be."