- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Jared Sullinger absorbs an elbow from Tyson Chandler.WALTHAM, Mass. -- Doc Rivers had hoped to keep dinged-up center Jason Collins on the bench during Wednesday's visit from the Suns, but as Phoenix made a third-quarter surge to take the lead, the Celtics' coach was begrudgingly forced to insert Collins into the game for size.
Collins admirably attempted to give up his body -- despite nursing hamstring and ankle injuries -- late in the third frame, absorbing contact from Luis Scola in the paint as he dished the ball to Marcin Gortat for a layup. Collins hit the floor hard, but didn't get a whistle. That's when Rivers lost it, earning only his second technical foul of the season while screaming at referee Josh Tiven as play proceeded back up court.
"I ask my guys to take charges, and when they don't get them, that's one of those push-button things for me, because that's a physical play and this guy is injured, he's out on the floor, and he takes a pretty good charge," Rivers said during his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio WEEI on Thursday. "And, you know, the official at that time just said, 'No,' and kind of waived his hands like, 'Get up, you're flopping.' That upsets you as a coach because a lot of teams around the league don't take charges, and our guys are willing to put their bodies in harm's way, and I felt like he should have got the charge."
Before his team practiced on Thursday, Rivers elaborated on the importance of taking charges.
"I love charges, I just think it just breaks the spirit," said Rivers. "They think they’re going to get a layup, they don’t see anyone blocking their shot, and somebody does that, takes the hit, and you see the other team picking the guy up. It’s a frustrating play. And it makes you not want to drive anymore. Because a charge is physical for both guys, not just for the guy taking it. The guy driving doesn’t like falling to the floor either. It’s just a good play. I do get upset when a guy takes one and they don’t give it. It’s almost like there’s a rule sometimes that if you take two or three, well, we can’t give you five charges in a game. And I always say, 'Well, why not?’"
With that in mind, here's an updated look at Boston's individual leaders in charges taken (54 total) this season with help from data logged by Synergy Sports:
14 - Jared Sullinger
13 - Rajon Rondo
5 - Kevin Garnett
3 - Chris Wilcox, Collins
2 - Jeff Green
And, on the opposite end of the spectrum, here are Boston's individual leaders in charges committed (72) this season:
13 - Garnett
9 - Green, Rondo, Pierce
7 - Sullinger
6 - Bass, Wilcox, Collins
2 - Terry, Lee, Barbosa
1 - Darko Milicic