Buddy Ball


Coach Doc Rivers has suggested to the Celtics that they have the potential to be the greatest defensive team in NBA history and to be remembered with other great pro sports defensive squads, like the 1985 Bears of the NFL.

But when Rivers talked about "Buddy Ball" after Friday's 116-103 win over the Toronto Raptors, he hardly meant the sort of low-scoring, brash defense that Buddy Ryan -- the defensive coordinator of those '85 Bears -- strove to enforce.

No, in the NBA it's the opposite.

So after the Celtics and Raptors combined for 60 first-quarter points -- the Raptors shooting 62.5 percent and Boston a scorching 83.3 percent -- and just nine first-quarter misses, Rivers said everyone needed to stop playing "Buddy Ball."

"We were just having a feel-good game at that point," joked Rivers. "You know, you score, pat them on the back, and they score. At one point that's what it looked like. It was amazing. We call it buddy ball. But we stopped doing it... Obviously, we can harp on that, but give them credit. We score with them and then we did defend and it turned the game around for us."