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3.19.2008

Doc Rivers: The Maestro

One aspect of this season that Celtics fans have come to enjoy is the manner in which a different player steps up every game, maybe even every quarter.

First you had Big Baby against the Pistons.

Leon Powe against the Wolves and several other teams.

Big Baby against the Spurs in Celtics-Spurs I.

In Celtics-Spurs II, you could point to Sam Cassell, but I'm going to call out Eddie House who drained a huge three down the stretch, and then added two free throws to put the game on ice.

Last night it was Powe again. A DNPCD the night before against San Antonio, Powe scored 21 points on 8-12 shooting against Houston, to go along with 4 rebounds and 1 steal in 20 minutes.

Somewhere in the middle you could throw in James Posey and Tony Allen. Allen played admirably at the point against the Lakers, while Posey had a stretch where he was averaging 5 assists and 5 rebounds per game. Last night, Posey had 10 boards in 29 minutes, while only taking one shot.

The guy who gets lost in the shuffle of the rotating brilliance that comes off the bench is Doc Rivers. Doc is the one picking match-ups that play to the strengths of each member of the reserve unit, and then exploiting those match-ups.

It's not a coincidence that many of these second-unit performers come up huge in one game (or, again, one quarter), only to slink back to a more diminutive role in the next.

Look at Eddie House, he hadn't made a shot all game against the Spurs, but Doc had him in the game during the final minutes, and House answered the bell.

Next look at Sam Cassell. Doc didn't rush Cassell into the line-up. He worked him in gradually, which enabled the Celtics to maintain team chemistry on an extended win streak. When Ray Allen went down with an injury, Doc called Cassell's number, who then seemlessly picked up the slack for the ailing Allen.

Doc knows what he is doing, and these are only a few examples.

Let's give Coach some love.

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