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Doc’s not going to bail out his bench

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) November 6, 2012 Celtics News 12 Comments

After a couple of days of everyone, including us, talking about how bad the Celtics look when Kevin Garnett leaves the floor, Doc told his bench today that there’s no bailing them out with a change to KG’s minutes.

“No, no, I’m not going to let him do more. I’m going to play Kevin the same amount of minutes,” Rivers said. “With Paul, Rondo you can go anywhere but if we can’t win with him off the floor, we just won’t win. And I told our bench that. We’re going to play the minutes that I’m giving them. The bench will play the minutes they should get and if they’ve got to do something or we just won’t win. It’s that simple.”

I’m with ya, Doc.  The absolute worst thing the Celtics can do at this point is increase KG’s minutes.  Hell, I’m all for dropping them by a couple and letting these guys figure it out.  Toss them into the deep end, and let them figure out how to swim.

Like I’ve said before, KG exists in a world where few others do… a world where the game moves at a slower speed, and they can pick things up well before the rest of us.  But what that ends up really meaning for the rest of the team is they have to do fundamental things better to make up for it.

It’s really not that hard.  Guys like KG and, on the offensive end especially, Rajon Rondo, can anticipate things because they’ve got that extra-sensory ability on the court.  That gives them an extra half second jump on everyone.   But doing things like closing out properly on 3′s, hedging and recovering properly on pick and rolls, and boxing out when the shot goes up can make up those half seconds you don’t have to anticipate.

So instead of being able to see a play ahead of time, reacting to it with properly executed fundamentals can work just as well.  It’s harder work.  It’s going to take a lot of communication between players.  But defending well without KG on the floor is very possible.

These guys just have to do it.  And they’re all pretty good NBA players, so there really is no excuse long-term for not doing it.  In the short-term, we can excuse some of it away with a lack of repetition and familiarity with one another (a.k.a. “chemistry”).  But if this is still going on a month from now, then there’s a problem.

I don’t want to go down that road right now.  But Doc’s language and tone is getting a little stronger with these guys.  He knows they have the ability to do it.  But the only way they can do it is with effort, and expending that effort consistently in the upcoming practices and games.

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  • CelticsKid34

    i think sooner or later we’re gonna have to put KG back at power forward… he doesnt need all that wear on him already. you wanna play him at center in the playoffs?… by all means as long as it works but for now put him at pf and stop making this small ball excuse and GET A GOD DAMN CENTER DANNY!!!

    • LA Flake

      We have centers: Darko, Collins and Melo. Personally, I’d like to see what Darko can do. I think he can be just as good for us as Perk was.

      • Roy Boy

        Agree with both comments. For some reason Doc will not play Darko, Collins, Wilcox or Melo? Maybe they haven’t earned his trust, but sooner or later Doc will have to play these guys next to KG or find an adequate big to back up or play along side KG.

        Honestly I’m not a fan of KG playing #5 despite his success during the second half of last season. It’s bad enough this team is struggling which they shouldn’t, but if KG were to get hurt the Celts are toast. If some of us fans can see these issues, then why can’t Doc or Danny see?

      • CelticsKid34

        @LA Flake… i mean someone who is an all around good center. i like wilcox, i think he needs more minutes with rondo to prove himself. i think darko might have some things he can bring to the table but not on offense. collins deffenatley has experience that we can use and i think will be more beneficial to the team than darko when it is all said and done. but what i am saying is that doc should not stick to KG at C, just because we were in a pickel at the time and had to put him there and it just so happened to work doesnt mean it is the best option. we could use someone like gortat, perk, or kaman. not saying we will get them or have a chance but im saying were not gonna get the best center but we need a center that can carry his own weight and not be a burden on the team and score baskets when its needed.

        • LA Flake

          I agree with you. But I doubt Gortat, Perk or Kaman can be had. But I would definitely dangle some combination of Bass/Terry/Lee to get Gortat if it were at all possible. At this point though, we need to give Darko or Collins a shot to defend the paint and be a physical presence for us because we have no one defending the paint right now and our pick and roll defense is just atrocious. I think KG can work with Darko and Collins. I love Perk but he wasn’t a better player than Darko or Collins. Stop romancing the small ball and give our bigs a chance is all I’m saying.

  • Stef

    totally agree! I still believe that Darko, Collins and Wilcox should get from the bench before Sulli. I like the kid, but we are giving him too much now

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