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Introducing the "manwich defense" - brought to you by Doc Rivers

It's man to man, with zone-type switching. Thus, the "manwich defense."


Doc gets a lot of credit for his handling of personalities and his out of bounds plays, and deservedly so. But when it comes to the defense, people sometimes site the system that Tom Thibbodeau put in back in 2007 and Kevin Garnett before they look to give Doc some trickle-down credit. But the guy knows defense and even coach Thibs said it was Doc's defense.

So with that lead in, I have to tip my hat to him for his latest creative wrinkle. A combination man and zone defense that they mix in with more traditional looks to keep teams off balance.

Celtics find success with 'manwich' zone - Boston Celtics Blog - ESPN Boston

What were the Celtics doing defensively? "We were laughing because, I think someone called it a manwich, a man zone, I mean, we were half zone, half man. It was almost silly, it really was," said coach Doc Rivers. "But it was really good. "We went into timeout [and said], ‘Any pick and roll, we’re man; any ball swing, we’re zone.’ [The players] figured it out. We’ve been doing that a lot lately, we have enough guys on the floor that can do it. And it’s really important with [Jason Terry] at the end of the game, because that’s the guy they are going to try to attack. And to be able to put him in the zone -- and he’s great in zone from Dallas -- it’s been good for us."

Call it whatever you want. It works.

Celtics-Pacers review: Boston's hybrid defense major factor in win | Comcast SportsNet -

When it comes to giving it a name, C's head coach Doc Rivers can only come up with one -- effective. Because for the second time in as many nights, Boston's ability to mix its man coverage with zone principles -- or man principles with zone coverage depending on which side of the coin you're staring at -- has been a big part of the C's success of late and was certainly a major factor in their 83-81 win over Indiana Wednesday night.

The manwich. Brilliant.

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