In game 1… Chuck was clearly wrong… because Doc Rivers out-coached Phil Jackson. And before the Lakers fans go nuts here… I'm not the only one who thinks so. Just ask Dr. Jack Ramsay:
Every move Doc Rivers made from the bench paid dividends for the Celtics. To start the game Rivers matched Kevin Garnett against Pau Gasol, but when Garnett picked up his first foul, he switched Kendrick Perkinsto Gasol and Garnett to Lamar Odom. The Lakers never went to Gasol with any consistency and Odom was not really an offensive threat, especially in the first half.
To start the third period, with his team trailing 51-46, Rivers ordered a set play for Pierce, who at that point was 1-for-4. Pierce scored from the low post and then nailed two 3s and two free throws in an eight-point run that allowed the Celtics to regain the lead.
So give Rivers the coaching nod over the veteran nine-ring wearer Phil Jackson … at least for Game 1.
Dr. Jack fails to mention the worst decision of the entire game: the lack of a foul on the C's… who took the clock from :53 down to :27 in an 8 point game. Even one missed free throw makes it a 3 possession game with about :50 to go. You mean to tell me the Lakers didn't think they could hit a few 3's in the last minute? Mind boggling decision. Everyone in the building was expecting a foul.
I said this in our forums… and I'll repeat it here. If Doc Rivers didn't foul in that situation, it would be topic #1 today… and all the storylines would be about Phil being the Zen Master.
It's only game 1… but the vaunted coaching edge that the Lakers supposedly enjoy was nowhere to be seen last night.