Originally written on State Of The Celtics  |  Last updated 12/5/11
Eastern-conference



One of the biggest questions during the lockout (besides, "When is this stupid lockout going to end?") had to do with the older—or "more experienced" if you prefer—teams in the league and whether or not they would get any kind of advantage from playing fewer games in a shortened season.

In case you've been living under a rock or you can't do basic math, the Celtics are extremely "experienced." They're one of the most "experienced" teams in the NBA. Naturally, Doc Rivers talked about his "experienced" guys with the "experienced" knees, muscles and joints and gave his opinion on the notion of his team having any kind of advantage. (Boston Globe)

There are some luxuries in an 82-game schedule that might not be afforded the Celtics in a 66-game slate. For instance, after back-to-back games last season, Rivers could give his team the day off. There were long stretches when the Celtics went without a full practice.
But in this lockout-shortened season, Rivers will have to be creative about cramming in as much information as possible in an abbreviated training camp and also getting the most out of all the practice opportunities that arise afterward.
Asked whether the shortened season benefits the Celtics because it means fewer games for a veteran team or if it hurts because those games will be crammed into a shorter time frame, Rivers said, "I don’t think it’s an advantage either way.
"You can say the veteran teams can play together so they need less work, but then the younger teams, they’re more athletic and fresher. I think it all evens out."

In theory, you would think that the older teams would have an advantage by playing lesser games because they would be a little bit fresher once the postseason began. But when you think about the Celtics and who they have—or will eventually have—on their roster, you realize that this team will need a lot of practice time together. The starting five will be reunited once again, which is fine and grand and whatnot, but one of the biggest issues in the postseason last year was the bench and their inability to pick up the slack when the starters left the floor. The Celtics are going to have to rebuild their bench since their bench currently consists of Avery Bradley and the jury is still out on Glen Davis, Delonte West and Jeff Green, which means more practice time is going to be needed in order to get everyone on the same page.

So let's think about it. An abbreviated schedule that has games coming out the wazoo combined with some extra needed practice time jammed into off days makes rest and down time almost nonexistent. Not a great recipe for an "experienced" team that needs a little more time to recuperate from little bumps and bruises.

Stupid practices are getting in the way of a potential. I mean, what are we talking about? Practice?

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