Rivers calls Orlando his home when he’s not coaching the Celtics. So, when the Celtics hit the road for Games Three and Four, he’ll be going home.
“I get to go home and sleep in my own bed,” Rivers said Monday morning. “I’m in bed every night in my own bed, that’s not bad in a series. It’s rare that you can say that.”
But as for coaching in the playoffs against the franchise with which he cut his NBA coaching teeth for four-plus seasons, including NBA Coach of the Year honors in 2000, Rivers said there’s no extra motivation. He was fired after a 1-10 start to the 2003-04 season.
“It’s been five years ago, six years ago,” Rivers added. “Whenever you go home and you’re seeing a bunch of your friends, it’s always special if you know what I mean by that but other than that, not much.”
Rivers tossed in one more nugget before leaving to get ready for Game One. He believes that the key to the series isn’t necessarily Dwight Howard.
“I still think the key to the series is dribble penetration,” Rivers said. “If we can keep them out of the paint off the dribble, it doesn’t open up their three-point game, it doesn’t open up Howard on the offensive glass. As much as it was important for (Rajon) Rondo to control (Derrick) Rose, I actually think it’s maybe more important in this series for Rondo and Steph (Marbury) and Eddie (House) to control Rafer Alston and Anthony Johnson and all the other guards they bring in off the dribble.”