Doc Rivers wished he could watch the game like any other spectator. He would love to enjoy watching basketball during his offseason, and especially during the NBA Finals, when the NBA’s competition reigns supreme. Instead he sat down equipped with a notepad and his game face, the preparation for next season already underway.
“I wish I could look at it the other way and enjoy [watching the NBA Finals], but I can honestly tell you that, last night, I was sitting in front of the TV in my office with a notepad, taking notes like you would do in the middle of a season,” Rivers told ESPN Radio in New York.
“You’re scouting the game. Not because the Heat may win or may not win, but [because] the Heat are who we are going to have to get through in order to get [back] to the Finals. So, you’re watching them every second that you can. This is the best you are going to see them, so this is probably the best time to scout them as well.”
Among his notes, potentially:
- “Leaving Mario Chalmers wide open, in most cases, is okay. Leaving Mario Chalmers wide open from three-point range in a three-point game with less than a minute to go is not.”
- “Do not have Chris Bosh defend Dirk Nowitzki on the game’s final play, under any circumstances. But especially if you have Udonis Haslem on the court.”
- “Get down 15 points first. Then make comeback.”
- “Mike Miller: hah!”
- “Trade for Dirk. Preferably a sign-and-trade for Glen Davis. Throw in Troy Murphy if the Mavs want equal value.”
After scouting the game, Rivers concluded the Celtics still have a chance next season.
“You can beat them, but you have to beat them and you have to play right and you have to have the right pieces,” he told ESPN Radio. “But there’s no superpowers that cannot be beaten in our league, but you have to put the right formula and right team together. I can guarantee you we are looking to do that.”