Doc Rivers Coaching the All-Star Game?

Last year, Indiana head coach Rick Carlisle coached the Eastern Conference team in the All-Star game in Los Angeles because the Pacers had compiled a conference-best 35-13 record by the cutoff point. Could 2004-2005 be the new Celtics coach's turn to be the head coach of the All-Star game to be played in Denver?

It would not take a miracle. The Celtics are fortunate enough to face some very weak teams next year, and to face them often. They also have the added advantage of starting practice early and potentially getting a jump on other teams.

Below is the table of the first 51 games to be played by the Celtics next season ending after the Sunday two weeks before the February 20 All-Star game. I have also added four columns: "sure" wins, "sure" losses, "likely" wins, and "likely" losses. A sure win means that if both teams are healthy and playing up to their potential, the Celtics should have a strong edge. A sure loss is the opposite. A likely win means that if both teams are healthy and playing up to their potential, the Celtics will probably eke out a tight victory. A likely loss is the opposite.

The bottom line is that, generously speaking, the Celtics could find themselves facing a 35-13 record this coming year. As a reader, I would imagine that these numbers are fixed. What are the chances that my unaffected but generous predictions of Boston wins comes out to the exact Indiana record last year? As a writer I am almost tempted to re-evaluate my predictions to come out with a less "random"-looking answer but that would violate the integrity, such as it is in what is obviously a vague forecast anyway. It is what it is. I assumed the Celtics would split the two-game series with Miami but otherwise they tend to either beat teams or lose to them consistently.

I have also assumed one more important thing.

I have assumed Sharif Abdur-Rahim is a Celtic next season. I have also assumed Gary Payton is a Celtic next season.

Given the recent "amendment" to the Payton deal (which I believe is nothing more than an excellent negotiation by Ainge and not an indication by the Glove that he really won't be reporting), and my natural belief that somehow, SAR will end up in Celtic green next season, this shouldn't come as a shock to anyone. Nevertheless, so some of the following predictions don't make you weep in anger (?), please bear in mind that the envisioned starting lineup is Blount/SAR/Davis/Pierce/Payton. That's a pretty awesome lineup.

With a 35-13 record, Rivers could coach his first All-Star game. He has been named the NBA's Coach of the Year before, but he has never coached an All-Star game. That could change this year.

Below is the table with my predictions. Enjoy.

 November  Opponent Sure Win Sure Loss Likely Win Likely Loss
  3 Wed Philadelphia 1      
  5 Fri Indiana       1
  6 Sat @ New York 1      
  10 Wed Portland 1      
  12 Fri Charlotte 1      
  17 Wed @ Washington 1      
  19 Fri San Antonio   1    
  21 Sun Seattle 1      
  23 Tue @ Indiana   1    
  24 Wed @ Philadelphia 1      
  26 Fri Cleveland 1      
  28 Sun @ Miami       1
  29 Mon @ Orlando 1      
 December  Opponent        
  1 Wed Milwaukee     1  
  3 Fri Toronto 1      
  5 Sun @ Sacramento     1  
  6 Mon @ Golden State 1      
  9 Thu @ Portland 1      
  11 Sat @ Seattle 1      
  13 Mon @ L.A. Clippers 1      
  15 Wed Denver       1
  17 Fri Utah       1
  18 Sat @ Cleveland 1      
  21 Tue @ Miami     1  
  22 Wed New York 1      
  26 Sun @ San Antonio       1
  28 Tue @ Dallas     1  
  29 Wed @ Memphis     1  
  31 Fri Washington 1      
 January  Opponent        
  2 Sun @ Detroit   1    
  3 Mon New Orleans 1      
  5 Wed Golden State 1      
  7 Fri Detroit   1    
  8 Sat @ Chicago 1      
  10 Mon Orlando 1      
  12 Wed @ Toronto 1      
  14 Fri Atlanta 1      
  19 Wed Chicago 1      
  21 Fri @ New Jersey 1      
  22 Sat @ Atlanta 1      
  25 Tue @ Charlotte 1      
  26 Wed Indiana   1    
  28 Fri Phoenix       1
  29 Sat @ Chicago 1      
  31 Mon Houston   1    
 February  Opponent        
  2 Wed New Jersey 1      
  4 Fri Orlando 1      
  6 Sun @ Minnesota       1

Sure Wins: 30
Sure Losses: 6
Likely Wins: 5
Likely Losses: 7

If the "likely" games have a good chance of going either way, then the Celtics record could range anywhere from 30-18 to 42-6 with a midpoint at 35-13.