5 Boston Celtics Who Could Be Losing Playing Time in 2012-13
When a team has as much depth as the Boston Celtics, it's necessary for the coach to adjust playing times to maximize the game of every player. Doc Rivers is faced with the challenge of figuring out which Celtics will have to sit more in the 2012-13 season.
Although these players could be losing minutes, it doesn't necessarily mean they are failing to meet Boston's standards. For example, Rajon Rondo is the most valuable player on his team, but he could lose playing time because he finally has efficient backups. He doesn't have to play 37 minutes a night anymore.
The Boston Celtics are loaded with talent at almost every position this season. Unfortunately, they can only have five players on the court at a time. Therefore, some Celtics could lose playing time in the 2012-13 season.
Average Minutes in 2011-12: 31.1
After playing 17 years in the NBA, Kevin Garnett is considered a veteran in this league. Despite his age, he can still dominate against most of the younger guys. In fact, KG played some of his best basketball in last season's playoffs when he averaged 19.2 points. The Celtics also rely heavily on his defensive presence.
Garnett's minutes will drop in 2012-13 because the Celtics have added big men to relieve The Big Ticket. Chris Wilcox is a solid center in his own right. After a heart ailment forced him to end last season early, Wilcox will return to the Celtics as the primary backup to KG.
Boston also picked up free agent center Jason Collins. While Collins doesn't have much of an offensive game, he is an effective defender.
Rookie Fab Melo is poised to make a smooth transition to the NBA. He can effectively move his feet and run the floor. Under KG's guidance, Melo has the potential to develop into an solid big man who can take some pressure off Garnett.
Average Minutes in 2011-12: 31.7
Brandon Bass is one of the most consistent players on the Celtics team. The 2011-12 season was actually his best season yet. However, if his game doesn't significantly improve, he could find himself losing minutes to rookie Jared Sullinger.
Although Bass played his role well last season, contributing 12.5 points per game as starting power forward, he has yet to develop the intimidating presence in the post that the Celtics need. He sometimes struggles against the league's other big men, which is a problem when facing Andrew Bynum and Tyson Chandler in the Atlantic Division.
On the other hand, there is a lot of hype surrounding Sullinger after his performance in the NBA Summer League. The Celtics were the worst rebounding team in the NBA last year, only averaging 38.8 per game.
As a highly effective rebounder, Sullinger would immediately improve his team's chances to grab boards, especially on the offensive end.
Bass is a perimeter player and jump shooter, which decreases his chances to get offensive boards. Due to Sullinger's impressive low-post game and small size advantage, Bass' playing time could be decreased to make room for the rookie.
Average Minutes in 2011-12: 36.9
Rajon Rondo's playing time will only decrease in 2012-13 because he overextended himself last season. The point guard played 36.9 minutes in the regular season and a whopping 42.6 in the playoffs. GM Danny Ainge brought in some new guards to give Rondo a chance to catch his breath this season.
Jason Terry will be the primary backup for Rondo. The former Sixth Man of the Year is the perfect man for the job because he thrives from coming off the bench.
He can run the Celtics offense, while still keeping up the pace that Rondo sets. With Terry as backup point guard, Rondo can rest on the bench and then pick right back up where he left off.
Average Minutes in 2011-12: 14.4
Last year, Keyon Dooling came off the bench for Rajon Rondo. While Dooling is a solid point guard, he couldn't keep up the tempo that Rondo set. He also struggled creating opportunities for himself and his teammates. However, the Celtics didn't have any other options.
Dooling isn't exactly a key piece of the Celtics roster, but he left his mark last season. During the regular season, he only scored four points in 14.4 minutes of play. However, he stepped up his game in the postseason by playing lockdown defense and hitting timely three-pointers.
Despite his strong locker room presence and high moments in the playoffs, Dooling's inconsistency will cause him to fall on the depth chart. Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley are all ahead of Dooling at the guard position.
Average Minutes in 2011-12: 31.7
Jason Terry is coming off an impressive year in Dallas in which he averaged 15.1 points per game, and shot 37.8 percent from the three-point line. He also averaged over 30 minutes per game. Despite his undeniable productivity, those minutes will definitely decrease in Boston.
The Celtics already have a deep backcourt, with seven guards currently on the roster. Although Terry is the primary backup for Rondo, he won't have nearly as much playing time as he had in Dallas. Terry will go from being the Mavericks' No. 2 to another Celtics' role player.
Still, fewer minutes doesn't mean less production. While Terry is on the floor, expect him to thrive on both ends of the court. Offensively, he can create his own shot and put points on the board.
On the other end, Terry will fit in with Doc Rivers' defense-first mindset. His 1.9 steals per game is currently ninth among active NBA players.
Terry's playing time will drop in Boston, but only because he's stepping into a different role.