We know it's bound to happen once in a while. The head coach has a player's back and the ref has enough and out goes the coach. It's happened a few times with Doc and will probably happen again. Last night, Doc put his coaches in that position by staying in the locker room after the half. Word is that Doc just wanted to watch the presidential debate but that's just speculation.
Doc's official reasoning was to have the coaches prepared in case he gets thrown out of a game. So, he put assistant coach Armand Hill in charge for the second half of the game and stayed in the locker room. Hill did a good job for the most part until the final 3 minutes. The Celtics were up 2 to start the second half. Under Hill's coaching, they soon stretched their lead to as much as 12 in the second half. With less than 3 minutes to go, that lead was still nine points. Then the Nets rallied against the Celtics third team that featured Kris Joseph, Fab Melo, Rob Kurz, Micah Downs and Jason Collins. We know that of that group at least 2 will be in Maine, two will be cut, and one will be the 3rd string center.
I would imagine that had this game counted in the least, that lineup would never have seen the light of day. Doc told Hill that he should probably have had a ball-handler on the floor as the Celtics had no one to direct the offense and often rushed shots when they had a chance to take the clock down. But Hill opted to let this odd lineup of young players finish the game and play through it. ESPN details the final play, drawn up by unofficial assistant coach Rajon Rondo.
Boston still had a couple of chances to win the game and unofficial assistant coach Rajon Rondo grabbed the clipboard to draw up a final play. An inbounds lob gave Downs a chance to convert an alley-oop at the rim, but he couldn't get the shot off in traffic.
"We got what we were looking for," Rondo said. "I just can't really comment on it. I think you get fined for saying certain things as a coach, so I think the guys did a great job executing out of the timeout, and it just didn't come up."
Hill chimed in on Rondo's coaching prospects after the game.
"He always says, 'I'll never be a coach,' but he has that instinct," Hill said. "He has a great basketball IQ, so I hope he does it."