Ainge acknowledged late Thursday afternoon that Rivers remains a coveted asset among NBA circles.
"We know people want Doc," Ainge said. "We know people want <Rajon Rondo> and KG and Paul Pierce. They are the Celtics. They've all had great success."
If Rivers decided to go back to the broadcast booth, where he received rave reviews for his work on TNT, the Celtics still would hold his coaching rights for the life of his contract, preventing him from hopping to another team without some negotiated compensation.
Rivers is expected to sit down with his coaching staff, each of whom has an expiring contract, this weekend.
So it's not just that the Heat is better than the Knicks. According to Pacers coach Frank Vogel, the squad from South Beach is also more intelligent.
Following a game in which the Pacers surrendered 60 points in the paint against Miami — failing, in the process, to duplicate the rim-protecting efficiency from the prior series against the Knicks — Vogel said it was a contrast of smartness.
"They had a more intelligent attack at the basket than New York did."
That won't sit well with Mike Woodson.
Vogel was specifically talking about the way Miami was adept at dumping off the ball in the paint, and how that helped Chris Anderson score 16 points on 7-of-7 shooting.
Against New York, Pacers center Roy Hibbert was a one-man basket plug while blocking 19 shots in six games, limiting Tyson Chandler to a depressing series.
Against Miami, Hibbert was deemed a mismatch by Vogel and removed from the game for the final possession because he couldn't guard Chris Bosh.