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Red's Army

Your Morning Dump… The minutes are already piling up

Chuck - Red's Army May 6, 2012 Uncategorized 5 Comments

KGRay
 

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Rivers is most concerned with the minutes of the Big Four – Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen (ankle) who returned to the lineup after nearly a month off.

Rondo (45.6), Pierce (44.2) and Garnett (40.4) are all averaging more than 40 minutes per game, something that you rarely see after this many playoff games. And Ray Allen, in his first game in nearly a month, returned to play 37 minutes. 

Rivers acknowledges that he's not thrilled with the idea that his core guys are logging so many minutes. All are certainly worth being concerned about, but Garnett's playing time is most disturbing. 

CSNNE – Rivers concers C's playing too many minutes

Not much you can do about minutes at this point. Without every minute of those minutes, the Celtics don't lead the series 2-1. 

The Big 4 played 19 consecutives minutes at the end of Game 3. Doc Rivers was hoping the line-up would stretch the lead from 11 to 20+, allowing for garbage time rest. It never happened. I don't have a problem with the strategy. There's a day between each of the next two games (5, 6) and then two days off from Games 6 to 7.

Minutes won't matter… if the Celtics can finish off the Hawks in 5 (highly unlikely) or 6 games. If they can grab a few days rest before the next series (let's hope Chicago has enough to drag that series to 7), they'll be fine. But, as they say, let's not put the cart before the horse.

Related links: Herald – Playing short shifts reaps rewards for KG | ESPN Boston – Doc prescribes day of rest for Celtics | WEEI – Celtics need to make better use of KG

On Page 2, Josh Smith is playing tonight, unless he falls down an escalator.

As far as Hawks forward Josh Smith is concerned, the only thing could keep him from playing in Game 4 against the Boston Celtics on Sunday is an unexpected stumble.

“If I fall down the escalator and re-injure something,” Smith said Saturday.

“I’m probably going to play regardless how [the knee] feels because I know the importance of this game,” Smith said. “We can do special things because we are a deep team, and very talented. Any other team with three guys who play major minutes are out, they tend to struggle. But we was right there almost about to win.

“With my help, it should help us to get over the hump [Sunday].”

AJC

Smith has been great in this series; averaging 19 points and 15 rebounds in Games 1 and 2. While the Hawks will gladly take him at even 75%, I wonder if a tender knee will keep him on the perimeter. A jump-shot happy Josh Smith is good for the Celtics.

The rest of the links:

Globe – Fleeting star returns for McGrady | Pietrus stepping up defense | Ugly win not a concern for Pierce | CSNNE – Preparation pays dividends for Pietrus | Herald – Pietrus advises concussion care | Inquiring minds want decision from Celtics | Pietrus prioritizes D

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

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  • MamaGino

    Three out of the top five in post season minutes leaders across the league are Celtics: Rondo, Paul at 1 and 2, and KG at 5. http://www.nba.com/statistics/player/Minutes.jsp
    Crazy numbers. Couple that with the fact that Rondo leads in assists, KG second in rebounds, Paul Pierce sixth in scoring – doesn’t seem like numbers point to much fatigue, tho we’ve seen games turn ugly (who cares as long as we get to W).
    But we’re going to need a bit more from the bench sooner or later..

  • Quest

    Josh Smith back in the line up is not good news. Josh may be the one to get them over the hump for a win. Hawks came pretty close w/out their main 3 guys. Can the C’s even last a 7 game series with their core guys playing consistently big min? Doc better figure the line ups out for a win situation and the guys better bring their A game. Hate to end up like Dallas.

  • paul

    Rondo vs. Teague is the key. Teague is way too talented to shut down, but Rondo’s got go all out to control Teague as much as possible.

  • KY Celts fan

    I’m feeling good about this game today. I think we play lockdown D and Pierce finally finds his stroke early I’m the game. I think we win tonight, and we win big. 15+ point margin. Let’s get ‘em, C’s!

  • sev

    Teague has helped there team quite a bit, but I don’t think we should be that nervous just because last game was close and we had all of our players. We played out of sync and that is a given when you factor in Allen’s comeback and new role, as well as Rondo getting back into the flow after the suspension and time off, as well as playing with bradley and allen. They certainly didn’t look as good as they’re capable of playing. However, the one thing that worries me is how effective these small lineups seem to be working for the hawks or any other team against us for that matter. KG no longer has the edge at center when it comes to speed and quickness, and I think that’s what has really helped him stay with the younger guys, although he does take more of a beating from the big centers. We can’t spread the floor as well with bass and KG when the other team has a small athletic lineup out there that can guard the perimeter and get to the lose rebounds just as quickly.