Doc Rivers, coaching the East team in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, had four of his Boston Celtics at his disposal off the bench. With a bit of showmanship, Rivers put them all in the game at the same stoppage midway through the first quarter, sending Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen into the game to team up with Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard.
When asked who he'd play his Celtics with when the Boston four were named reserves for the game two weeks ago, Rivers joked that the fifth player who be whichever East All-Star was next it line for free agency. Ironically, that'd be Howard, who coincidentally plays the one position not covered by Boston's four All-Stars.
Courtside reporter Craig Sager revealed that during practice on Sunday, Rivers had his Celtics run some of the rival Miami Heat's favorite sets in another bit of gamesmanship to show that his team knew the Heat front and back after three wins this regular season.
The early part of the All-Star Game was marred by fouls, a particularly long mop-up session for a wet spot on the floor and a scoring battle between Amar'e Stoudemire (who was, oddly enough, guarded by Carmelo Anthony) and Kobe Bryant.