Doc Rivers joined Dennis & Callahan Monday morning, hours after the Celtics' 93-91 overtime victory over the Heat in Game 4 evened the Eastern Conference finals at two games apiece.
Rivers said the series is shaping up as he expected following a predictably slow start from the Celtics.
"I didn't feel great going into Game 1, mainly because of the seventh game in Philly, that series. But after that I felt very good about this series and about us," he said. "We knew it was going to be a hard series. We knew it was going to be a physical series. But I actually think that's who we are, so that's why I've liked us in this series."
The Celtics got off to an impressive start offensively Sunday night, scoring 61 points in the first half, but then they squandered an 18-point lead in the second half.
"I thought the second half we were looking to take quick and, in my estimation, bad jump shots," Rivers said. "I thought that's why Miami got back in the game is because of our shot selection. A long jump shot, especially when you continuously take them, against Miami, if you don't make them, it's the first pass to a fast break for them. We really got into a bad rhythm in the second half."
The officiating has been a focal point in this series. Rivers expressed sympathy for the referees' situation, following a game in which Paul Pierce and LeBron James fouled out.
"[The calls] can go either way," he said. "Honestly, I thought a lot of those calls, the officials are in tough spots. I thought three or four calls could have been fouls either way, or could have been play on. It's a tough one, if you don't call anything, if you call it on one guy -- it's a tough game to officiate, obviously."
During a halftime interview on ESPN, Rajon Rondo criticized the Heat for "complaining and crying" to the officials.
"He's just emotional at that point," Rivers said. "Rondo is a tough competitor and he's a very emotional player. I didn't know that until after the game. Danny [Ainge] and a bunch of guys told me that he said that. Once it's out, what can you do."
Following are more highlights from the interview.
On the possibility of Chris Bosh returning for Game 5: "I don't know. I've heard that. It's not going to change anything that we're doing. We're going to play the same way. We're not going to worry about it. We prepare every day that he's going to play each game."
On the success of the Celtics' smaller lineup: "We just liked the matchups. It's forcing [the Heat] to do things that I don't think they want to do. It's just been very good for us. Again, we've worked on it. All the playoffs so far, Miami has gone small. … What we have learned is that we like our small lineup against their small lineup. And it's been very effective for us."
On if Pierce and Ray Allen are getting healthier as the series goes on: "Paul is, for sure. He's going to always have a sprained meniscus until the season's over. But he feels better. It's not bothering him as much. And I think he has really figured out how to deal with it. Ray is playing in a lot of pain. But I think what Ray has done, he's figured out which way to cut, he's figured out his balance issue with his foot. So, he's playing a lot better and he's feeling a lot better because of it."
On Mickael Pietrus' two big offensive rebounds late in overtime: "None bigger. Those were terrific. Those were game-saving rebounds from a guy that was struggling at the offensive end. And that's what I liked most about those two plays."