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Doc Rivers: Tough, demanding and lovable

DocWEEI's Paul Flannery examines the genius that is Doc Rivers:

“By far the best X’s and O’s that I’ve been around,” Dooling said. “Second to none. I don’t know what our percentages are coming out of timeouts, but I’m sure it’s at the top of the league. Poise. Always poised as far as knowing what to do in the right situation. Communication, second to none. Doc carries a heavy load over here and his presence is felt. He holds everyone accountable.”

Garnett’s trust in his coach was the biggest reason he went along with the move to center, and it’s his definition of a “player’s coach” that’s the interesting part of this quote.

“Man, I’d run through a wall for that guy,” Garnett said. “He’s a player’s coach. Definitely the reason I’m able to be in the position I’m in, looking like I’m half decent in this league. He cares about players’ bodies and time off. All those things are important. I’d go through a wall for that dude. If he asked me to do anything drastic, I would never go into it thinking that he’s telling me something wrong. I hate playing the five, to be honest.” 

Ever since winning the title in 2008, Doc Rivers has been considered an elite coach. He deserved a lot of credit for melding three HOFers (Ray, PP and KG), veteran role players (Cassell, House, Posey and PJ Brown) and young, brash talent (Rondo, Big Baby and TA) into champions.

But Doc's stock is soaring this season. Many consider him the best coach in the league. He has an old, injury riddled roster playing championship-caliber basketball. 

Garnett's quote says it all. If your players are willing to run through a wall for you, then you are pushing the right buttons.

Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images