Peter May recently noted that Kevin Garnett will likely join the 40,000 minutes played club this year. Shaq will too… so they'll be the 24th and 25th players to hit that mark.
There are 12 active players in the top 110 all-time minutes played (Source: basketball-reference.com. Note, they list Stephon Marbury and Dikembe Mutombo as "active." I'm not.). I'm going to 110 all-time because that's where Pierce is. Of those 12 active players… 4 will wear Celtics green next year:
Garnett (39,635 min. 27th all time)
Ray Allen (35,099 min. 54th all time)
Rasheed Wallace (34,167 min, 66th all time)
Pierce (30,525 min. 110th all time)
A couple of other teams have 2 players on the list: Dallas (Jason Kidd-41,555 min, 8th all time & Dirk Nowitzki-30,693 min, 104th all time) and San Antonio (Michael Finley-37,288 min, 39th all time & Tim Duncan-33,138 min, 80th all time). And these don't include playoff minutes.
We knew the C's were getting older age-wise… but I think the minutes played numbers are the real numbers to watch. And that's why we keep harping on Doc to rest these guys. These guys can't be logging 3,000 minutes per season anymore. For reference: Andre Iquodala led the league in minutes played last year with 3,269. Pierce was 10th with 3,035 and we watched him run out of gas in the playoffs.
Just using round numbers: 30 minutes per game equal 2,460 minutes over the regular season. 35 minutes per game equals 2,870. As a fan, I see no excuse other than injury to a bench player for any of our Big 3 to log more than 2,800 minutes this regular season. That's the cap. That's where the odometer flips and we start hoping we can get a few more miles out of the car before it breaks down and leaves us stranded. We've got a deep bench this year. We've got to make sure we use it.