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The subtext to Clipper game: Doc Rivers coaches against Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett

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Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Marc J. Spears talks to and about the three men at the center of the Celtics 2008 championship run and how they'll react when they see each other at opposite ends of the court Saturday night in L.A.

"It's going to be weird looking over to the sideline and not taking instruction from him," Paul Pierce told Yahoo Sports about seeing Doc Rivers, his former coach. "He probably knows all of our strengths and weaknesses."

Probably? Oh yeah!

"He gave us confidence we can do everything," Kevin Garnett said of Rivers. "Although he is well spoken and comes across really intellectual, Doc's a beast, Doc's an animal. There is nothing soft about him. He pushed us every day."

"When you win a NBA championship and when you go through the struggles you must go through together, you're bonded for life," Rivers told Yahoo Sports. "It's like having a blood transfusion."

The two Nets also talked about the events of last June and whether they'd have stayed without Rivers ... all wound up with the Clippers.  Pierce noted he's happy in Brooklyn. "It's a great situation here," he said.

Late Saturday afternoon, Rod Boone spoke with the Nets' duo who said they're looking forward to it.