I swear I started this post at 7 AM with the intent on finishing it later in the morning and posting it for the lunch time web surfers. Imagine my dismay at 9:30 when I checked in on Celtics blog with the same headline and the same picture. Oh well… I'll chalk it up to great minds thinking alike.
Here we are, down 1-0 (fyi, just like the Lakers), looking for a good adjustment to make to even up this series, and the best option here is moving Brian Scalabrine into the starting lineup. Amazing how far Brian Scalabrine has come, huh?
Scal did a great job in game one. He was the most consistent Celtic on the floor. He hit his open shots. He made smart plays. And most importantly, he played great defense on Rashard Lewis. Time and time again, Scal was up on Lewis on the catch, and Rashard did nothing.
Putting Scal in the starting lineup creates better defensive matchups. It also allows Scal to benefit from the attention paid to everyone else on the floor. He's good enough to hit some open shots, he's good enough to make the right rotations and keep the ball moving. And it allows Big Baby, who's been playing great, to come off the bench and maybe boost that second unit. Baby's a better matchup on Dwight Howard anyway, so he can spell Perk even when Dwight's in the game. I know he's not tall, but he's strong enough to keep Dwight at bay. That low center of gravity, along with his strength, can actually help him when it's time to box out. Coaches always tell players "get your butt into his leg" to box a guy out. Well… that's where Baby's butt is. So he can just use his strength and be more successful than you might expect.
It's a minor tweak, but one that I think helps in the overall matchups. I don't think it's going to affect anyone's minutes and it might actually help space the floor a little better. Scal was starting a lot in KG's absence before the concussions. I think last night proved he can get back in there.
So loyal reader Danno said this last night too. So I'm doubly late to the "Start Scal" party.