Boston Celtics

NBA Playoffs 2011: What's the Best Starting 5 for the Boston Celtics?

Steven BaldassariContributor IIIMarch 15, 2011

The Boston Celtics have made many subtractions and an equal number of new additions since the NBA Trade Deadline. Nevertheless, Boston's key players have remaind in tact. It is rather obvious if you are a knowledgeable basketball fan what the Celtics' starting five should look like.

The best three lineups for the Celtics (assuming health is not an issue with any player on their roster) are as follows. If they alternate between these three lineups for their starting five on any given night, then they should come out on top 95 percent of the time.

Lineup 1. PG Rajon Rondo
                SG Ray Allen
                SF Paul Pierce
                PF Kevin Garnett
                  C Shaquille O'Neal

Lineup 2. PG Rajon Rondo
                SG Ray Allen
                SF Paul Pierce
                PF Jeff Green
                  C Kevin Garnett

Lineup 3. PG Rajon Rondo
                SG Ray Allen
                SF Paul Pierce
                PF Glen Davis
                  C Kevin Garnett

Players like Nenad Krstic, Troy Murphy, Sasha Pavlovic and Carlos Arroyo were added for depth and to strengthen the bench. If they are starting, how can they play into that role and help the team?

The Celtics, without question, have upgraded their bench. Yes, they lost Perkins, but he didn't play most of the year and they still dominated during that span.

Shaquille O'Neal is the only thing this team is missing right now. When Shaq starts at center, the Celtics are 24-4. When he returns from injury, the NBA had better watch its back.

Forty years old or not, the "Big Shamrock" still knows how to throw his weight and size around on the basketball court. He is still one of the best centers in the league today.

The Celtics know what they are doing. They may be a bit old, but they are resting and probably doing so more than needed. That's a luxury they didn't have before, but now that a new bench full of players have arrived and need time to learn the defense/offense anyway, what better time to get healthy than right before the playoffs start.

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