Few sports figures command the kind of respect that Doc Rivers receives in Boston. The town that was down on it’s basketball luck for decades before he arrived has rallied around the smooth operator. Rivers has even, for the most part, avoid criticism from Beantown’s normally feisty media members. The man called Doc has piloted the Celtics through 5 years of fierce competition, defying the odds and talking back to Father time. Often lost in the Boston Celtics’ miraculous march to Miami in 2012 is the impact of their wise and crafty leader.
Make no mistake, Doc’s presence is huge for this Celtics team. Rivers has been able to mentor the hot-headed Rajon Rondo, turning him into a prized player who just might be outgunning a self-proclaimed “King” on the court. Rivers’ defensive schemes were crucial in game 4 at the TD Garden, where Dwyane Wade was embarrassed by swarming Celtics defenders in the first half. Plus, Doc’s offensive playbook is full of goodies that would make NBA JAMS enthusiasts shake their heads in disbelief. Casual NBA fans would not expect a squad full of Veterans with names like Garnett, Allen and Pierce to lean on a Coach to get them through tough games. After all, David Stern’s League is notorious for the cavalier attitude of its players (see clip of Wade screaming at Spoelstra in the Eastern Conference Semis). Despite the stigma, Rivers has somehow managed to keep the Big 4 balanced and under control for half a decade. If Rivers can help Boston Beat The Heat, he could go down as one of the best bosses in Boston sports history.