Doc Rivers is an NBA coach… a former coach of the year and an NBA champion.
I'm a slob who sometimes drinks alone, could stand to lose a few pounds, and uses terms like "we" and "us" when referring to his favorite pro teams.
So I get why Doc Rivers doesn't want to listen to someone like me when I offer an opinion about what should happen with the Celtics. One thing I've been saying is it would be smart to limit the starters minutes to make sure they have enough gas left in the tank at the end of the season. Keeping them fresher during the season could help prevent some of the wear-and-tear that tends to affect older players.
your starters for a certain amount of minutes,” Rivers said. “People
think that if you can play them 28 minutes a night that’s good, but
that’s awful. If you look historically, Michael Jordan never played
under 37 minutes a night. There is a reason for that — rhythm. You have
to keep your rhythm during the season. [Playing fewer minutes] sounds
like a great idea, but if you play them 28 minutes to conserve them,
then you throw them out of their rhythm.”
Call me nuts… or drunk… but if you're resting someone 11 minutes a game. What's an extra 5 minutes on the bench if you spread it out? If you bring a player back 1:15 later than you originally would have… that's 5 minutes right there. So if you pull Paul with 3 minutes to go in the quarter. Why not just wait a minute or two into the second quarter to sub him back in rather than start the second quarter with him?
Is that really going to take him out of rhythm?
I'd submit that Paul Pierce, being a Hall of Fame calibur player, won't lose it after a couple extra minutes on the bench. And you can substitute the names Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in that last sentence.
Look… I'm not saying any one formula will work or won't work. But an extra minute of rest during every sub-out isn't going to throw someone out of whack. It's just not.
But Doc's a smart guy. I know he is. I know he's going to look down his bench and see very capable guys there when his stars are tired. And I know he's going to ride the horse if his second unit is extending a lead. I'm just not so sure he's willing to let that second unit go a little longer beyond his comfort zone for the greater good.