Very few teams have a fourth center. Very few teams end up starting their fourth center, who also happens to be a rookie. To say that they are injury ridden is an understatement. They are out five players with Von Wafer's status still uncertain.
When any other team is potentially down six players, it is almost never a good thing. The depth of the Celtics have not only softened the impact of losing such key pieces but might have even turned it into a blessing in disguise.
With the depth the Celtics have, there is a problem in playing time. At the start of the season, nobody would've thought any of the three rookies would see significant playing time. Von Wafer was a doubtful prospect.
They started off down a man in Perkins. As the season progressed, J. O'Neal sustained an early injury leading him to miss the bulk of the season, Delonte West broke his wrist and eventually Shaq was sidelined for his calves. Finally, Rondo is now out for two weeks thanks to a bad step causing him to sprain his ankle.
The absences of players are making other players step up and improve their game. First, Semih Erden is making a statement. While he is still looking a bit lost on both ends, he has improved significantly.
Now Nate Robinson has to start at the point, meaning Avery Bradley is bound to see minutes. For two weeks, Nate will be getting more attention from Doc Rivers, a coach with a knack of developing point guards like Rondo, which will definitely turn him from a pure shooter to a better point guard.
Paul Pierce dished out 10 dimes against the Hawks tonight. Many players who tried new things with success have gone on to develop that skill. Perhaps tonight The Truth will get some new insights and start becoming an even more threatening triple threat.
Despite not being down in other positions, the likes of Luke Harangody and Von Wafer will end up getting minutes as Doc tries out the perky lineups with players playing out of their position (like the shooters lineup at the end of quarters) while the starters rest.
Beyond the Big Three and the addition of the two O'Neals, the Celtics are quite a young team. To think that one of the best teams in the league will be improving as the they get injured should strike fear in the other teams.
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