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.
Garnett is averaging 30.1 minutes per game through nine contests, his lowest average since coming back from knee surgery during the 2009-10 campaign (29.9 minutes per game).
Oh sure, Rivers cheats every now and then. He splurged when he utilized Garnett for the entire fourth quarter in Wednesday’s win over the Utah Jazz, blowing up a plan to limit him to 25 minutes of the first night of a back-to-back.
But Rivers turned around Thursday and kept Garnett to 29:53 of floor time (limiting him early to lean on him hard late), even against an opponent that obliterated Boston on the glass in the first half. Rivers could have easily run Garnett into the ground, but winning game No. 9 isn’t nearly as important as game No. 90.
“I think he realizes he has to [be careful],” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday during his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio WEEI (93.7 FM). “Our motto over the last handful of years — and Doc has done a good job of it — is to win playoff games. Yeah, we want to win every game that we go out and play, but you can’t make sacrifices because there’s a game the next night and a game the next night, and they do add up.
25 minutes on the first night of back-to-backs? Wow… I didn’t realize the KG Minutes Management Plan was so strict. But this strategy has my full support (I’m sure Doc is relieved).
Paul Pierce’s mpg average (34.6) is very close to his averages for the past four seasons, so there’s room for improvement there. Once Jeff Green finds his comfort zone, I’m sure Doc will lessen the load on Pierce.
Rivers has managed to get Rajon Rondo’s mpg down below 40 (38.9), but that’s about 2 minutes about his averages for the past four seasons.
Leandro Barbosa and Chris Wilcox are making Doc’s job easier. How effective has Wilcox been?
Chris Wilcox, after a 6-point game against the Nets, is shooting 12 for 14 from the field (85.7 percent) and 16 for 20 (80 percent) from the foul line in 92 minutes of actions this season.
I’m not sure how to calculate Wilcox’ PER, but it’s gotta be something like 328.7.
Don’t forget, the Celtics have a 12:30 pm tip-off with the Raptors. Look for our game preview soon.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Lee getting a handle on role | Herald – Fans take to Chris Wilcox | Collins focused on staying sharp | CSNNE – Bass gets his yoga on | It’s all mental (Pierce) | ESPN Boston – Bass and the muscle celebration |