It’s not always easy for Doc Rivers to tell how Paul Pierce is going to shoot on a given night. Unlike the smooth stroke of, say, a Ray Allen, Pierce’s shot isn’t like that. It isn’t uniform. It doesn’t give away its secrets in the angles or motion.
So it wasn’t as if Rivers knew early on that it was going to be one of those nights for Pierce — that Pierce was going to take the Celtics on his shoulders, that he was not going to allow them to lose again.