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A Balancing Act for Doc

 

Before we are too far out from the C’s solid but rather underwhelming win over the Wizards last night, I pose to you a simple question. Out of Boston’s bench players last night, who would break the rotation for any other playoff team in the Eastern Conference? Before you go thinking there’s an obvious answer, let’s run through the options quickly.

Keyon Dooling (shooting 38 percent from field, 27 percent from downtown on the year), Marquis Daniels (inactive for majority of season), Ryan Hollins (unable to get playing time on non-playoff team) and perhaps the best candidate out of the bunch in Greg Stiemsma.

Dooling would be the other potential candidate, but after his hip injury suffered in January, the tough-nosed guard has been a shell of himself over the past two months before showing a signs of life over the past week.

Stiemsma is your best candidate and besides his defense, you would have a tough case making it for him. The fact of the matter is just showing you just how comically shallow the C’s bench has become and this team’s propensity to compete besides it. Despite that second team, Doc somehow got away with a relatively easy win last night playing Kevin Garnett just 23 minutes, providing KG with the much-needed rest with another game tonight looming in Charlotte. Rondo was at 33 minutes, Bass 33, and Pierce 31, while Avery Bradley posted a career-high 39 minutes on his career night.

For a squad that clearly needs the wins to a) ensure a spot in the playoffs and b) attempt to catch the swooning Sixers for the four seed, the harsh reality of working that bench into one of the league’s worst offenses looms. With Pietrus out indefinitely, and Ray Allen having MRI’s done on his ankle, it’s a rotation we may be seeing for a week or two. Doc got away with this against Washington with some stellar defense and Bradley’s outburst, but the problem remains in place.

Without Allen and Pietrus in the lineup, this team’s struggling offense (27th in offensive efficiency) drops even further. And with Rajon Rondo passing up shots right now, you’ve only got three guys you can rely on for points at the moment in Pierce, Garnett and Bass with any kind of regularity. You probably can’t afford to play those guys 35-40 plus minutes right now either given how much of a grind awaits this squad in April, but Doc may have no choice. it’s the balancing act.

With that looming schedule next month, chalkful of playoff opponents and back-to-back’s the importance of this week becomes clear and the balancing act that Doc has to manage. Find a way to score enough points and win these games, without pushing your healthy veterans to the edge. With Charlotte, Utah, and Minnesota awaiting, this could be a 4-0 week……but it just as easily go 1-3.

Right now with the bodies Boston has available they can’t rebound or score efficiently. Now the issue becomes….can they still do enough to find a way to win with the patchwork rotation they have in place?

  • Nick

    Rajon Rondo needs to have a good month and step up to the plate show the NBA he is an ELITE pg. With our two sg's out we cant rely on pierce every night especially his of recent above average rebounding. Going to be a very interesting remainder of season for Boston

  • High Rollers

    I bet MP and Ray are back for the Miami game. I also bet Rondo cranks up the scoring in at least two of the next three games. He seems to wait until it's utterly and completely obvious that no one else is scoring, and even though they won last night, I think he might have finally noticed that was the case, at least by the end. The problem is when things are rolling in the beginning of games, whether it's P, KG, or even AB, then the one guy who really has to flip the switch when the shooting goes south is Rondo. I bet you'll see him do that a little more assertively, and hopefully effectively, over the next three games, bridging the scoring chasm until Ray and MP return. As for the bench, it's a Goldilocks moment… when MP and AB return to it, it'll be just right. Yup, that's right, staying positive!

  • ElRoz

    Yes, Rondo needs to play with a more scoring-minded approach, but I still would not want him to push it too much – if he is dishing, then it means the other 3 guys are scoring (and right now the three guys include Avery Bradley).

    Utah might be very tired: they played 4 OT yesterday and tonight they play at NJ..then a day rest and in Boston. Their major starters all played over 50 minutes, some 55-57 yesterday while Boston's KG, Pierce, and Rondo all played 3-8 minutes less than usual. I would expect Utah's tiredness to linger.

    It is super important to get the win in Charlotte tonight. Having Bradley start for Ray Allen, and having Dooling and Marquis off the bench without Pietrus is not that bad…the last two can plug some holes I think.

  • Debbie Downer

    I just looked at the schedule for April. Maybe Hollinger was right about us not making the playoffs… :(

    • Dmitry

      You've got to believe, man, got to believe…

    • Lantrell Walker

      C's will be fine, they'll make the postseason. They may be a 7th or 8th seed in the playoffs, but I guarantee you & everyone else that they'll be the most dangerous and potent low seed in recent memory(perhaps ever).

      In the great words of KG: ANYTHING'S POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Anthony

        Lots of "bar fight" games remaining.

  • whatever

    "The fact of the matter is just showing you just how comically shallow the C’s bench has become and this team’s propensity to compete besides it."

    this is the worst sentence ever constructed.

  • skeeds

    I will stubbornly chose to see things positively. There was no conceivable way I would expect us to play this well after so much things going wrong.

    We'll be fine. We'll make the playoffs, and give Miami or Chicago a run for their money. Since we're looking for a miracle, I prefer the 7th or 8th seed, facing the favorite 1st round. Then, IF we pull off an upset, the next series will be much easier.

    • Anthony

      While I don't enjoy the prospects of playing the Bulls or the Heat in the 1st round, I will remain optimistic about the season thus far.

      Given all the major and minor injuries, I counted 5 games that the Celtics basically gave away or had the refs take it away from them. The season opener against the Knicks, both games against the Fakers, the blown 4th quarter lead against the Cavs, and 1 other games that I remember at the moment. Had they won those, their record would be 31-17 and in the 3rd seed. Even with 3 season ending injuries and the condensed season, with a record of 26-22, there's still lot to be proud of.

  • green-boner

    whats the job description when applying at celtics hub? "spew more negativity than tony sopranos mother ".

  • Sean

    What about JJJ or Etwaun? I have a feeling other teams would see them crack the rotation, you're leaving them out.

    From what we've seen of JJJ, I think he'd be taking a few more minutes (or maybe just "regular minutes") in games.

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