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A Team of Player-Coaches

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Kendrick Perkins summed it up best when asked what he was doing with a whiteboard in his hand at practice.

"I got to do something to be involved, right?"

Doc Rivers didn't grow an extra foot over night; that was Perkins drawing up a play for the second unit to run in a scrimmage at the end of practice. The play, which Perkins said was a "floppy out of bounds with a back pick for Von", didn't work, as the pass was fudged and Nate was forced to take a deep 3-pointer that clanged off the rim.

Now he knows how Rivers must sometimes feel.

Nevertheless though, it won't be the last play Perkins, or other members of the team, draws up this season.

"We've done that the last couple of days," Rivers said. "We're trying to let the players run the scrimmage. It tells you a lot as a staff - who they think should shoot, who's taking the ball out. They run all our stuff, which is amazing. It's good that they're doing it. It makes them think and I think it's good for them."

As a player on the Hawks, Rivers once drew up a play that won a game for them. It was his time playing on that team that he learned of the method and kept it with him.

He also noted that Gabe Pruitt (remember him?) actually drew up a play once that the C's ended up winning a game on.

According to Rivers, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Perkins, Delonte West, and Glen Davis design the majority of the plays from the players' end.

Perkins said that Paul Pierce and Rondo draw up the best plays, while none of the "bigs" seem to be very good at it.

Asked who draws up the most plays for themselves, Perkins was quick to throw Davis under the bus. Davis was even quicker to deny it, but did say that he draws up the best plays.


"I'm like 80-percent, score," Davis said half jokingly. "Every time I draw up a play we score."

It's a learning experience for players like Davis, who get to see the game from the other side of the ball.

"Basically [Rivers] just lets us police ourselves, especially the second team," he said. "To have a leader on the second team helps the bench go through a lot of plays and we just kind of work with ourselves because at the end of the day we're on the court by ourselves.

"Doc's yelling and he's trying to let us know, but we have to go out there and still play basketball. I think it' a good method to help respond and jell together."

Call this another plus of having such a veteran team. True, they're still players and have a lot to learn before they can call themselves coaches, but you can bet a player like Ray Allen can teach you a thing or two about the fundamentals of the game.

For Rivers, the exercise enables him to learn a little more about his team.

"You learn a lot because you actually see - first of all you see what they're thinking," Rivers said. "You find out who they think should take the shot, you find out who they think should be in, and who they think can make plays."