We have two coaches that are first-class in my opinion meeting in these NBA Finals in Celtics bench boss Doc Rivers and Lakers ringmaster Phil Jackson. And I don't believe the Celtics are at a strategic disadvantage against Philosopher Phil. One of the underrated aspects of this Celtics' playoff run has been how Doc Rivers has out-coached each of his counterparts.
Much like his team, Miami's Erik Spoelstra was overmatched against Rivers in the first round. In the second round, Doc was too clever for Cleveland's Mike Brown, who never did find a way to slow down Rajon Rondo or stop Kevin Garnett in the post. In the Eastern Conference finals, Stan Van Gundy took the bait when Rivers decided to guard Dwight Howard one-on-one and take away the 3-pointer, and it wasn't until it was too late that Van Gundy adjusted, going with staggered pick-and-rolls.
Rivers is a worthy descendant of Red Auerbach on the bench for the Green. Doc might only have one ring to Jackson's two handfuls (10), but he beat the Zenmaster to get it two years ago. Heck, Rivers is such a good coach that Jackson might actually have to call a timeout in this series.
...That's what the Patriots have when it comes to picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. After all those years of stockpiling picks the way a survivalist does non-perishables the Patriots have just five picks in this year's draft, thanks to Band-aid trades for Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco and Aqib Talib. Five picks would be the fewest draft picks in franchise history. (Part of that is attributable to the trimming of the draft to just seven rounds in 1994). Further complicating matters is that two of the Patriots' greatest needs are at wide receiver and cornerback, positions where they have sustained draft droughts. With that in mind, I'm convinced the Patriots are going trade back out of the first round of a quanity-over-quality draft where you're just as likely to pick a Pro Bowl player in the second and third round as you are in the first round.