|Patriots providing boost during C’s title run||06.14.10 at 1:53 am ET|
There was a distinct football flavor to Game 5 of the NBA finals Sunday night at the Garden, as Patriots coach Bill Belichick was in the stands as well as current players Wes Welker, Stephen Gostkowski and Pat Chung. In addition, former New England linebackers Tedy Bruschi and Larry Izzo were also in attendance.
And Celtics’ star Paul Pierce was able to flash some football skills late in the game, when he ran a fly pattern along the sideline to haul in Kevin Garnett’s inbounds pass with less than a minute to go and Boston clinging to a five-point lead. Pierce caught the ball high above his head and neatly missed stepping out of bounds before throwing it crosscourt to Rajon Rondo, who connected on a layup that helped seal the win.
“I was just showing off my Randy Moss and my Tom Brady in one play, that’s all,” Pierce told reporters. “Going up to catch it, then I went to my Brady mode when I was falling out of bounds to find Rondo for the receiving end.”
The Patriots have been a constant presence throughout the Celtics’ postseason run — Tom Brady also made an appearance courtside earlier in the series — and that includes players as well as coaches. Earlier in the series, C’s coach Doc Rivers talked about the support he gets from other coaches throughout the city, including Belichick.
“The fellowship of the coaches is terrific,” Rivers said. “You know, we all share texts and calls together, so it’s really a neat thing. I don’t know if you can get that in any other city. But it’s in our city, and it’s great to have.”
Belichick has addressed the Celtics on occasion, and Rivers has spoken to the Patriots as well.
“When you look at Doc, there are very few people that have done what he’s done and experienced what he’s experienced in his life. He’s a remarkable man,” Belichick said in 2009 after Rivers spoke to the team. “As I told the team, I think he could probably take any ten of us in that room, put us together and not have experienced as many things as Doc has in his career. We all learned a lot from him, and it was one of the best presentations that we have heard.”
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