There’s got to be a reason … seriously. Why would Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers only utilize three guards in Game 1 of the opening round of the NBA Playoffs against the New York Knicks?
Whatever the reason, the Celtics are now in a 0-1 hole after dropping an 85-78 decision Saturday afternoon.
Big man Shavlik Randolph averaged north of 30 points per-game in the Chinese Basketball Assocation before the Celtics signed him to a rest-of-the-season deal in the beginning of March. The 16 games Randolph’s played in a Celtics uniform is the second highest single-season total in five of six seasons he’s been in the league.
Now, I’m not saying Randolph’s premier talent but he’s a gritty forward who can get you points and rebounds in a pinch. The only condition: he needs floor time.
Chris Wilcox is a more regular insert into the Boston rotation as a big who can run the floor with the guards and get hustle points down low. The C’s are 8-3 when Wilcox plays at least 20 minutes and 18-8 when he plays at least 15 minutes. Even rookie 7-footer Fab Melo would’ve given Boston another body at the very least.
Only five Knicks scored on the day and none of them were starting center Tyson Chandler.
It’s well-known that the Celtics want to limit the court time of Kevin Garnett but the answer isn’t leaving Jeff Green in for 47 minutes.
I get that teams can make it work with a short bench but they’re smart enough to at least include some height into their rotation. Four-guard sets are for college, not the NBA Playoffs.
Mike Gillmeister can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter: @mgillmeiTSHQ .