BOSTON When it comes to game-planning, it doesn't take long for Doc Rivers and his staff to come to a consensus on the best way to approach a player.
And then there's the seemingly ageless one, Steve Nash.
Do you want him to score or pass more?
"It was split right in half," Rivers said. "You don't know which one you'd rather have him do."
When you throw Rajon Rondo (wrist) being doubtful for tonight's game against Nash and the Phoenix Suns, the Celtics will have their hands full building off of Wednesday night's win over Toronto.
Like the Celtics (5-8), the Suns (5-9) recently snapped a five-game losing skid with a win over the New York Knicks.
"He's just destroying people," Rivers said. "He put a clinic on in New York. It was an absolute clinic. When you factor in his age and the speed that he's doing it at now, it's laughable. The man is hard to guard because he's so crafty."
Nash, who will be 38 next month, is still one of the toughest point guards to match up with despite being the oldest playmaker in the NBA.
"He's one of a kind," said Rondo. "He's a great point guard. He's been doing it for a long time and he knows the game."
Rondo added, "It's going to be probably over 100 pick and rolls. We're not the best at it. He's good at exposing people as well."
Nash is the type of player that will challenge your mental toughness in ways few point guards in the NBA do now.
"You have to have a defiant attitude," Rivers said. "He's going to make some shots. He's going to do some things you just have to be defiant about. That's what he's supposed to do, and I'm supposed to stop him."
If Rondo doesn't play, Rivers will likely have Avery Bradley or E'Twaun Moore start at point guard. Although Moore is the better playmaker, Rivers might go with Bradley instead because he's the better defender.
"I've been watching him since I was in middle school," Bradley said. "It's going to be a challenge (tonight)."
Said Rivers: "He's like (Muhammad) Ali. Every fight, is he going to do the rope-a-dope, is he dancing? You don't know what he's doing. George Foreman said it, mentally the guy bet me before the game started. That's what Nash is."
And while Nash doesn't necessarily come up in talks about the top five or so point guards in the NBA, his ability to throw you off with his passing and shot-making ability creates a major challenge.
"Chris Paul and them are probably better at this point because of age," Rivers said. "But they don't present that problem. They pretty much score, and then they'll pass too. Nash, he's just he's spectacular. He should be studied. There should be a class about him, Nash 101."