Happy Holidays to all you CelticsHubbers out there. With the regular season opener approaching, Doc Rivers has reached into his stocking early with the news that Sasha Pavlovic will likely get the start at small forward on Christmas, with Paul Pierce still looking doubtful with a heel injury. (ESPNBoston:)
“Most likely,” Rivers said Friday when asked whether Pavlovic will start in lieu of Pierce. “We’ve [run him with the starters] this week so he can get a feel. We could change our mind on that one, but I would say most likely.”
Previously, Rivers had discussed the possibility of giving Marquis Daniels the Sunday start if Pierce can’t go, but on Friday he expressed a desire to keep Daniels with the team’s second unit.
“I would love to keep the second unit intact, as much as I can,” Rivers said. “I think they feel each other, and I think Marquis really helps, especially if we go with a 5-man second unit. I don’t know if we’ll do it or not, but it just really helps the team.”
All joking aside, I really like this move by Doc. As we all saw Wednesday night, the second unit offense is in dire need of some offense. Taking Marquis Daniels off that unit only compounds that matter further, since he is more capable of putting up some quick post and cutting points than Sasha at this point in his career.
To the same point, Pavlovic’s deficiencies are better hidden with Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal having his back, as opposed to Bass and Wilcox. That’s something that is desperately needed against the likes of Carmelo Anthony.
All in all, this will likely be a one-game experiment with Mickael Pietrus likely on the way and ready to suit up early next week and Pierce hopefully on the mend. For now, Doc cuts his losses and does a better job of maintaining balance between both units.
A full preview of tomorrow’s tilt on the way later today, as well as the latest on Pietrus.