About thirty seconds after I got done telling you how complicated the Celtics' situation is, Doc Rivers made it simpler. Via Ken Berger:
"Doc Rivers has decided to return for the final year of his contract to coach the Celtics , a person familiar with the decision confirmed to CBSSports.com Wednesday. Rivers had been thinking about stepping down to spend more time with his family."
"The timing of Rivers' decision was no coincidence; only he in the Celtics' organization has the persuasive powers to convince Pierce and Allen to forego potentially lucrative invitations to compete for a championship elsewhere, possibly with other marquee free agents. Those invitations will come fast and furious, but the knowledge that Rivers will be back certainly will give Pierce and Allen pause about leaving."
It can't be overstated how much Rivers' decision may influence both Pierce and Allen. This team has thrived based on a common philosophy and a bond. Their chemistry has been instrumental in their success, and that, more so than X's and O's is a product of Rivers' work. His return means that Allen will find it that much harder to look elsewhere. The same is even more true for Pierce, who has never donned another jersey in his NBA career.
That siad, Rivers was on thin ice before the Big 3 came along. He's been instrumental in the development of Rajon Rondo and Glen Davis, but struggled with Al Jefferson, and his rotations are notoriously spotty. For all the talk of wanting to focus on upgrading the current team, overcomplicating the lineup takes Rivers' focus away from what he does best, motivating. It'll be key to watch if the Celtics decide to keep the same blueprint with significant improvements, or try and expand the formula into something different. There are risks either way.