Boston Celtics

Rasheed: Doc Rivers a "Mad Scientist"

BOSTON - MAY 12:  Head coach Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics celebrates the win over the Orlando Magic in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden May 12, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Magic 92-88.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Thomas HalzackAnalyst IOctober 10, 2009

Depending on which Celtic player you listen to, Doc Rivers is either the NBA’s version of the President of the United States, Barack Obama or….a mad scientist.

Some players like Ray Allen, view Doc’s skills at dealing with the media, superstar egos and just about everyone else, as the NBA’s version of Obama. President Obama’s winning of the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday elicited a strong endorsement from Ray Allen. Doc River’s ability to diplomatically keep the peace around another group of power hungry elites with their own agendas—his players—earns him the Obama tag, NBA style.

Rasheed Wallace has a different take on Doc, when asked about his taking so many threes (9)…

"Hey, if Doc wants me to shoot the three, I’m not going to argue with the coach. We definitely did a lot of positive things tonight," he said.

"Offensively, like I said, Doc is the Mad Scientist. It’s who he wants to put in there at different situations of the game ... if we need the three, need the two, whatever."

Previously, Wallace referred to the more clearly defined defense roles as "coming together." Offense? Well, Doc is letting the veterans wing it a bit with just a few offensive sets in play right now. Instead, Doc is looking at the offense and the defense being played against it, before deciding what new "element" he wants to throw into the formula. Even the bench is more versatile now.

Wallace…

"We are deep. We have guys that can do it all. Guys that can shoot on the perimeter. Guys that can post up., that can rebound. We can give the first unit a helluva run in practice."

I know you’ve played center for the last three years. Do you consider your self more of a power forward that plays center (when he has to)?

"Yeah, Pretty much.  For the majority of my career I was a power forward, so I see myself as a power forward playing center. You know, it’s a little different here on the east coast. You know, you can’t be a thin center so obviously over the last 5-6 years I had to boost my weight up, you know, as much as I could, to try to defend some of the bigger fives out there and so far it worked."

And that might be why some fans are seeing a slightly bigger Sheed than they expected in the preseason.

Your appraisal of the team’s effort tonight?

"Defensively, I think we (are) okay. But we definitely have the talent and energy to get better."

Don’t tell the Knicks that. They scored just 33 first-half points on 27.9 percent shooting and had just 82 points on the game, including a dismal 16 percent from the three-point line.

Doc Rivers on a new stronger post game by the Men In Green ...

"Right now with him, Perk, and Kevin down low – forget the jump shots – just the post game it gives us. It’s just fantastic for us. You know, having three bigs who can post. And then Rasheed’s dimension. We scored a couple of buckets that he literally had nothing to do with the play, except for standing behind the three, but he took a five (center) out there with him, and our guards are driving down the lane, and there’s nobody there."

But if some guy in a white lab coat mixes this test tube with that test tube and pours it into the game beaker and it says Wallace should be hoisting up "three bombs," Rasheed’s not going to argue.

That mad scientist is coach Doc Rivers talking. Rasheed argues with referees. He argues with opposing players. But Rasheed’s not arguing with his coach.

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