The Doc is IN

The Celtics will be naming Doc Rivers head coach at a press conference later today. The swiftness of the move has media types scratching their heads. Peter May used to think that Rivers was a great coach, until the Celtics got him. Now he must have something wrong with him, and doesn’t know how to coach defense. Steve Bulpett however, says that the lure of working for the Celtics is what brought Rivers to the Green. Bob Ryan sounds on the verge of excitement that Rivers is coming here, and notes:

I'm not going to guarantee he'll be a great coach here, but I will be very surprised if he isn't a success, and I can assure you he is a terrific person who will represent the Boston Celtics with class and dignity.

I’ll take Ryan’s opinion over that of Peter “Captain Hindsight” May any day. Mark Murphy says that it is going to be a challenge for Ainge to step back and let Rivers call all the shots on the court. Shira Springer looks at the qualities that Rivers will bring to the Celtics, and who his assistants are likely to be. Murphy also looks at signs that Rivers is restless and eager to get back into the coaching game. Walter “Buddy” Thomas gives his opinion of what moves might be upcoming for Ainge and the Celtics. Michael Gee also has a pay column wondering why Rivers would want to come to Boston and coach the Celtics.

The Sox got to play last night, and Curt Schilling atoned for his last performance in Toronto by hurling 7 1/3 shutout innings at the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Game stories provided by Bob HohlerJeff HorriganJoe McDonaldPaul Doyle and David Borges. The Red Sox pitching has been stellar thus far. Tony Massarotti looks at the strength of the starters and relievers. Lenny Megliola takes a look at the bounce-back performance of Schilling. Michael Vega takes a look at Schilling moving forward from his last start. Michael O’Connor and Nick Cafardo and Robert Lee have a look at the play of Jason Varitek last night, who in addition to his home run and three RBI, also called a terrific game behind the plate according to Schilling. Bill Reynolds says that the big story in baseball this year is the struggles of the Yankees. Vega and O’Connor also have pieces on Tampa Bay centerfielder Rocco Baldelli. Steve Buckley has a pay column saying that the Devil Rays have hope. Ain’t that sweet. The notebooks are all Byung Hyun Kim, all the time. HohlerHorriganMcDonaldDoyleBorges.

Michael Felger has a piece on the dynamic Bethel Johnson, who is hoping to build upon a rookie year filled with some dramatic highlights, but also some down points including a benching against Jacksonville. Mike Reiss says that rookie tight end Ben Watson already needs a new agent.

NESN has Sox/D-Rays at 1:00 and 7:00. TNT has Pistons/Bucks at 8:00 and Kings/Mavs at 10:30. ESPN has Lightning/Canadiens at 7:00. ESPN2 has Red Wings/Flames at 10:00.

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