The Celtics’ defensive credentials are built on something more hard-nosed than gimmicky.

The 2007-08 NBA championship team shut down opponents with man-to-man pressure, and the teams that followed stuck to those principles.

But as coach Doc Rivers has increasingly found, a team with an aging Kevin Garnett isn’t always capable of straight up stoppage. Garnett needs some of the burden taken off his role not only calling out coverage, but also keeping the paint clear.

The answer has been a mix of zone and old school man-to-man. Sometimes the Celtics have mixed the two schemes. Rivers isn’t even sure what to call it. Some of his players have called the ploy “man-wich” defense, and others have dubbed it the “man-zone.” Rivers has admitted that sometimes two players might be guarding their men straight-up while the other three are in a straight zone.