Doc Rivers gets a lot of grief around here. Sometimes he deserves it. Sometimes he doesn't. That's part of being a head coach.
But right now, he's not getting the credit for making two huge, ballsy decisions that won the Celtics the first two games of this series.
Late in Game 1, when the Celtics were making a big run to come back from a 14 point deficit, Paul Pierce was ready to come back into the game. At that point, Tony Allen was in and making Dwyane Wade's life hell. So Doc looked at the situation, sent Paul Pierce in… and sat Ray Allen.
Most coaches would pull the "Hey, Ray's my guy and I'm sticking with the guys who got me here." But Doc saw what was happening… sat one of his stars in a key situation, and let a role player continue doing the job he had been doing. TA harassed Wade… the Heat wilted… and the Celtics held on for the win.
Going into Game 2, Doc had a decision on his hands. Do you start the former All Star… the guy you signed to step up in the playoffs and deliver should Kevin Garnett not be able to? Or do you start a guy who, while playing fairly well lately, is still a young player and doesn't have that same standing among his peers yet.
Once again, Doc made the tougher choice. Most coaches would say "this is what we got this guy for… for moments like this." You think Mike Brown would have the sack to tell Sheed he's sitting in favor of Big Baby? Nope. No way. But Doc did. And we saw how huge it paid off.
Those are two very tough decisions that Doc had to make. And he nailed them both.
Miami's getting outplayed on the court… but they're also getting vastly out-coached. It's time Doc got a little more credit for that.
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