As expected entering the season, the Celtics have gone with a 9 man rotation.
That rotation consists of the five starters
- Paul Pierce – 1234 minutes – 36.3 minutes a game
- Ray Allen – 1214 minutes – 35.7 minutes a game
- Kevin Garnett – 1079 minutes – 32.7 minutes a game
- Rajon Rondo – 1075 minutes – 31.6 minutes a game
- Kendrick Perkins – 955 minutes – 28.9 minutes a game
The Big Three are playing similar minutes to last season. Rajon Rondo has seen a small increase of two minutes extra, and is playing the same amount of action as he did in the playoffs last season.
Kendrick Perkins on the other hand has seen a good increase in minutes. Last season he played only 24.5 minutes, so he’s playing about a sixth more minutes per game. That comes from two areas (1) Individual improvement (2) The loss of Posey and small ball.
The Celtics then use four main reserves
- Tony Allen – 634 minutes – 19.8 minutes per game
- Eddie House – 565 minutes – 17.1 minutes per game
- Leon Powe – 526 minutes – 15.5 minutes per game
- Glen Davis – 521 minutes – 16.3 minutes per game
All four Celtics reserves have played in almost every game this season. As you can see, Boston employs two backup big men, one wing and one guard.
No other Celtics bench player has played even half as many minutes as Glen Davis. In fact, only one player has played more than a quarter Davis’ minutes and that’s Brian Scalabrine.
Scalabrine hasn’t been a constant presence in the team but he has played a decent amount, appearing in 24 of 34 games (Note: In seven of those games he played less than five minutes). Overall, Scal has played 230 minutes on the season. Scal generally serves two purposes
- Added size on the perimeter. When the Celtics need length at the small forward slot.
- An able fill in at either big man spot, especially when one of the above Celtics are missing with injury or struggling with form/foul trouble.
- Last season Scalabrine was also called upon when the team needed a defender for perimeter bigs, or for better team/help defense, but that hasn’t been the case this season. Doc Rivers has given far more trust into both Powe and Davis, trying to play them as his first choice regardless of the matchup. If Powe/Davis don’t play well enough, then Doc will go to Scalabrine.
The 11th player on the list is Gabe Pruitt who has played 110 minutes. It’s expected that Pruitt will get a good opportunity to earn a larger role in the team over the next few weeks. He’s looked good in the limited opportunities he’s received so far.
The following players are also on the Celtics roster – JR Giddens, Bill Walker, Patrick O’Bryant, Sam Cassell.
- Cassell hasn’t played yet this season and it’s unknown whether he’ll have a role to play before the season is over. Cassell gives them a good option as a fourth point guard on the roster, especially since both House and Pruitt are capable of playing the two guard spot.
- O’Bryant has been a disappointment and unworthy of minutes. O’Bryant is a long seven footer with horrific fundamentals and a poor understanding of how to impact the game. He has some interesting instincts but not enough to be consistent out there. O’Bryant has a long road to travel before being ready to contribute to the Celtics … without some minutes it’s hard to tell how much progress he’s making.
- Walker and Giddens are both playing down in the D-League for the Utah Flash. I haven’t watched their games but I hear they’re doing well there. It’s unknown whether or not they’ll play a significant role this season, but it does look doubtful.