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Celtics control Rivers' All-Star chances

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  January 26, 2010 06:01 PM

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How the Celtics wrap up the week could determine whether Doc Rivers spends All-Star Weekend in Dallas.

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Thanks to the Riley Rule, the battle between Boston, Orlando and Atlanta for the second spot in the East also means there’s a three-horse race between Rivers, Stan Van Gundy and Mike Woodson for the right to coach the Eastern Conference all-stars.

Rivers, who coached in the 2008 All-Star game, brushed it off, saying, “I could care less about that. You know how I feel about that whole thing."

The rule, established because Pat Riley coached eight of nine All-Star games thanks to Lakers teams that dominated the West in the 80s, says that a coach can’t repeat if his team once again has the conference’s best record. 

Because Mike Brown coached the Eastern conference All-Star team last year, and his Cleveland Cavaliers are again the Eastern Conference’s front runner halfway through the season, he can’t coach this year’s team.

The nod goes to the coach of the team with the second best record, and that could all shake up in the next few days.

The Celtics are a half-game in front of Altanta and 1 ½ games ahead of Orlando, and when the dust settles on the Celtics upcoming stretch – at Orlando and Atlanta then home against Los Angeles – the Eastern conference coach will be determined.

“We talked about it as players starting out the year,” said Ray Allen. “We didn’t help the cause out any over this last month. But he definitely deserves to be there, and the coaching staff, because they’ve worked hard trying to [maintain] what we’re doing here. So if we could do that, that would be great.”

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