Who says coaches don’t matter? Doc Rivers thoroughly outcoached Vinny Del Negro in this one by going to a stable of simple yet effective plays to create the mismatches the Clippers’ defense readily offers. The Celtics may not have the horses for a championship run, but no one in the East wants to see this smart, tough team come playoff time.
I'm not sure why you wouldn't go ahead and put DeAndre Jordan in the game down the stretch, perhaps for Butler. With Jermaine O'Neal and Chris Wilcox out, the Celtics only played three players over 6'7" — and one of those (Brandon Bass) had fouled out while another (Greg Stiemsma) had shown little indication that he'd be able to handle crunch time. But by going small and staying small, Del Negro failed to press his size advantage and Boston was able to close the game with Garnett surrounded by a group of guards and small forwards.
As I watched the 4th quarter of last night's game from my couch this morning (yes, I was too hungover from Sunday's party and tired to stay up), I wondered about the absence of DeAndre Jordan. Was he hurt or in the dog house?
None of the above. Turns out he was Del Negro'd.
I hope we all appreciate the genius that is Doc Rivers.