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“I think the reason people are going small is for the advantage, just trying to be quicker, trying to increase the pace,” Garnett said. “I think we’re doing the opposite. Obviously we’re still trying to keep a certain pace, but for the most part trying to have an advantage with post-ups. I see why we’re doing that. It makes sense.”
Who would have thought, had anyone told you early in the season that the Center-less Celtics best bet at making a run in the NBA Playoffs would be their “big” lineup? Who would have thought that it would provide us with the most hope for this team? Believe it or not that is the case here as we are just a few games away from the playoffs. The Celtics are hoping that there is enough time for this unit to gel, now that Garnett and Pierce are back in action, as this lineup will likely provide the team its best chance at matching up with the top powers of the East.
The Celtics may be running into a buzzsaw with a potential first round matchup against New York, but a look at the lineup for New York, one has to imagine the two spots that the Celtics would have a major advantage would be Paul Pierce on JR Smith and Kevin Garnett on any of New York’s bigs, assuming the Celtics do run with their “big” lineup”. Looking at it the other way, should the Celtics run their normal lineup, Smith, and Carmelo would likely have a field day with their mismatches.
The playoffs are all about matchups at the end of the day, in 2010 when the world had the Celtics down and out, the one glimmer of hope was that the Celtics had huge matchup advantages against the Cavs and Magic regardless of the superstar on the opposing team. At this stage in their the Celtics no longer have as many matchup advantages as they did perviously, but the ones they do have, they cannot afford to let them pass by and the 50/50 matchups have to be won. Looking ahead to the matchup with the Knicks, you have to just assume Carmelo is going to get his points, but the Celtics have at least a 50/50 or better matchup in every other position. Winning those matchups is the key to the series, and going big is the first step towards winning those matchups.
Related links: Herald: Celtics make big plans
ESPN Boston: Celtics’ bench players settling in | Jockying for position: 3 up, 5 to go | Herald: Nets offer chippy playoff test | Globe: Cetlics say they’ll be ready | CSNNE: For Randolph, it’s always been about rebounding | WEEI: Pierce doesn’t see Griner making the NBA