Re: Blaming the reserves
posted at 4/22/2011 12:01 AM EDT
A few of us over at Dslack's ESPN Celtics Board appreciated edcap99's post. I just wrote the following.
"Yeah, it's a +/- thing. The more that the starters play with bench players, the less time they have available to play all starters together. Maybe this doesn't matter."
It does matter, but not so much during the regular season. The starters have nothing to prove. As long as they have a serviceable center, they've shown they can compete with anyone.
Doc was right to give up on Avery Bradley. He's either one of the worst draft picks in NBA history or will be a late bloomer. Von Wafer, on the other hand, has been in the league long enough to merit consideration to be part of the rotation. He finally got the chance but then got injured. When he came back, Doc let him collect dust on the bench while playing Ray too many minutes.
I concede Doc gave Arroyo every opportunity to become a true part of the team. Unfortunately we found out why he got waived. Delonte when healthy could definitely gobble up major minutes as both Ray's and Rajon's primary backup. But he seems hurt. That's where maybe Doc should tweak his idea of limiting the number of players in the rotation by making Wafer Ray's backup and West for Rondo.
It's too late to start mixing it up with Green. He should be primarily Paul's backup and only Paul's backup. Maybe with a fresh start in training camp, Jeff Green's versatility can be better tapped.
Big Baby should be KG's backup. For when he is too short, that's where Doc could have developed a tweaking system by playing Murphy or Krstic instead of Baby or even perhaps Jeff Green.
If Doc's preserving Krstic for later rounds, then fine, all is forgiven. If he's benching him because he doesn't like his performance, that's ridiculous.
Doc's a player's coach for those he trusts. It is very difficult for anyone outside that circle of trust to ever feel as a real part of the team. It's why Tony left. I do like the plays Doc calls out of timeouts. He's a basketball lifer and is that kid who used to draw out the plays on his hand when we played football in the snow. Throwing it in to KG for an old-school back the opponent in and then shoot a five footer was pure brilliance.
I definitely agree with the Globe poster who says don't make wholesale substutions. Trickle the subs in. Work off of the chemistry already developed. That's what I mean by saying have primary subs for each starter. Sure, they are all individuals and have different pluses and minuses. However, in the long run you end up with fresher players and more fluidity. Like Wafer makes more sense than West right now to sub for Ray. No one but West should sub for Rondo. That kind of thinking. Plug in Green for Pierce. It's how Danny set up this team, to have solid backups for each position. But Doc failed the last month or two to develop that. Now he is going with his gut it out with the Big Four strategy. Unfortunately, that tends to get too predictable and thus easier to defend or score on. You want those starters as fresh as possible for the final five to ten minutes.
You can't expect them to play most of the game, to always get a big lead at the beginning, then put in five cold subs and ask them to hold the lead, then end up playing the starters 40 minutes anyway in games that are decided at the buzzer. I'm learning to love Doc as a person. I'm having difficulty liking him that much as a coach except for calling plays, managing egos, and to be honest, I can't think of anything else he does well.