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Satch Sanders on D&H: Bench is C’s only edge

06.11.10 at 12:40 pm ET
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Former Celtics player and coach Satch Sanders joined the Dale & Holley show Friday to talk about the NBA finals. To hear the interview, click on the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Sanders said Doc Rivers‘ use of his bench in Game 4 Thursday night reminded him of Red Auberbach’s strategy during the Celtics’ dynasty in the 1960s, of which Sanders was a key part.

“It was consistent with Auerbach to use that second unit when games were extremely tight or when we were losing,” said Sanders, who won eight NBA titles as a player and briefly coached the C’s in the late 1970s. “Basically, he’d change that whole group up, and we’d get back in many a game. … That’s a good role to play if you’ve got that kind of bench, and certainly Rivers has that kind of bench, and he’s clearly not afraid to use it.”

Sanders said that because the Celtics and Lakers starters match up so evenly, the bench should decide the series. “Boston has a much deeper bench,” he said. “That’s the only edge that they have.”

As for the referees, Sanders said complaining isn’t worth the players’ time and focus. “Forget about the referees,” he advised. “They have a job to do, but you’d better do yours.”

Sanders will be on hand Monday night at TD Garden for The Tradition, the New England Sports Museum’s annual event honoring area sports legends. He will be there to help present former teammate Jo Jo White with the basketball legacy award.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Lakers, NBA Finals
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