Originally posted on Celtics Town  |  Last updated 10/28/12
As the season draws closer, the Celtics player rotation still needs to take shape.  This season more than others– with  so much depth and so many impact offseason additions, it remains unclear as to what player combinations the Celtics will play. Doc Rivers and the rest of the coaching staff could go many different directions as they have toyed with ‘position-less’ lineups, with Lee at what would normally be point guard or Bass playing at what would formally be known as small forward.  Based on the preseason and some soundbites from Doc and the gang, I made my best guesses as to where the minutes would go by each position, and had so much fun I did it again with Avery Bradley back in the lineup.  (Thanks to Redsarmy, who did something similar to this post within the last couple of years.)The Celtics will need to play Rondo a great deal of minutes a night at the point guard position because of the lack of decision making and passing coming off the bench.  Doc has indicated through preseason minutes that Terry will be handling most of the ball handling with the second unit, and thus he will sop up the rest of the minutes at point guard.Courtney Lee and Jason Terry will be handling the bulk of the shooting guard minutes, with some supplements from Barbosa.  It remains to be seen in what ways Barbosa can and will contribute, but indications from his truncated preseason practices are that he can still play, and he provides depth and versatility for the Celtics.  The minutes at shooting guard will likely be determined by who is hitting shots and meshing well with Rondo.Small forward is a little more clear, Pierce will continue to be the figurehead at small forward.  The Celtics being able to go big with Green or small with Lee should provide some advantageous matchups for the Celtic’s given both players ability to guard multiple positions.Power forward seems to be the most liquid position on the Celtics.  There has been talk about who should start, Bass or Sullinger, with both sides being well represented. I believe it will be Bass– but in the end I think they will both get their well deserved minutes.  Sully is still a rookie and will have to truly earn any and all of his playing time.  I believe he will– but the beginning of the season he might see more minutes at center than power forward.  Again the C’s have Green coming off the bench to go small, most likely with Rondo to provide potential for stunning fast break alley-oops.  Kevin Garnett might play some minutes at the four, with perhaps Sullinger or Wilcox sliding over to center.Lastly, there is center,where KG will be playing the largest share of the minutes.  Much of the Celtic’s success last year was attributed to his position change, a strategy which is likely to be mimicked this season.  The size the Celtics have off the bench should enable Doc to limit Garnett’s minutes until the games really matter.In total, here is a look at the minutes played for each player:Rajon Rondo: 38Paul Pierce: 32Courtney Lee: 31Jason Terry: 28Kevin Garnett: 28Jeff Green: 25Brandon Bass: 24Jared Sullinger: 14Chris Wilcox: 10Leandro Barbosa: 5Darko Milicic: 5While I doubt the Celtics will play eleven players on any given night, it should give a pretty good indication as to how much run each player will get.  Of course injuries and player effectiveness will change any and all of these predictions.And just because I can, I gave my best shot as to what the minutes might looks like when Bradley comes back.  The most notable changes are moving Barbosa’s minutes to be more of a ball handler,and predictably Bradley sucking up much of the minutes at the two guard.  Center is the only position that did not change at all due to Bradley’s return.The minute breakdown would be as follows:Rajon Rondo: 35Paul Pierce: 32Kevin Garnett: 28Jeff Green: 25Brandon Bass: 25Jason Terry:22Avery Bradley: 21Courtney Lee: 18Jared Sullinger: 13Chris Wilcox: 10Leandro Barbosa: 6Darko Milicic: 5Again the Celtics most likely will not go to a 12-man rotation, but it will be interesting to see how and where Avery Bradley’s playing time occurs with, and who will lose minutes upon his reinsertion into the lineup.
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