I can’t help but be overly optimistic about the Celtics chances to head into Miami this weekend and at worse, split with this Heat squad. With the extended two day layoffs in between both games 1 and 2, along with games 2 and 3, it’s difficult to cdomprehend just how rested the Celtics will be. Honestly though, the C’s freshness goes even further back down Round 1.
Consider this. If we flash back to the end of the regular season, the C’s starters (minus Rondo) have only played four games (KG just two!) in those past two weeks, before entering tonight’s game. Just for fun, let’s take a look at those minute breakdown in those contests.
Player @Mil @CHI GM1 GM2
Pierce 36 33 35 30
Allen 33 36 30 33
Perk 18 26 24 26
KG out 28 33 out
Given the old legs and lingering injuries slowing down this crew, those numbers almost leave me jumping for joy. When you combine those figures, with these minute numbers from the last two months, things get even more exciting
Month Allen PP KG Perk
March 31.3 30.4 28.8 25.9
April 32.9 33.6 29.8 26.3
Now, I don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill here. Limited minutes obviously, doesn’t guartantee wins in the playoffs. However, it definitely can’t hurt. Need I remind you to take a look down memory lane last year. First let’s take a look at the minute breakdowns for Pierce and Ray Allen in the ladder months of the year in 2009:
Month: PP Allen
April 09 34.2 37
March 09 39.5 36.1
Feb 09 41.4 37.0
Yuck. Those figures ended up getting the Celtics the 2 seed they heavily sought after, but also a first round battle with the Bulls that left this squad running on fumes heading into Round 2. The Green fought valiantly for six games, and had the home court in their corner for game 7. Yet, they had nothing left and were simply blown out of the building by Orlando.
Make no mistake, Doc Rivers and company learned from this situation. Yes, the lack of KG (and Leon Powe) obviously was the biggest factor in that loss, but it became clear that Doc had ran his guys into the ground, and had them peaking a bit earlier than it was ultimately needed.
This year, things have changed. The C’s eased on the gas for much of the final two months, much to the chagrin of fans like myself. Now though, it’s time to push it into overdrive and Doc Rivers, much to his credit, has setup the chips perfectly to make it happen for this round and beyond.