Doc is like a kid in a candy store with all the options he has for every position and he's going to experiment with different lineups and allow the competition to decide who gets the playing time. It's going to be a very exciting season as all this plays out.
Now, I just read a post on WEEI by Paul Flannery that said that when the curtains went up on practice today, Jared Sullinger was playing with the starters and that Doc is having way more fun than I ever imagined. Jared started the game in Milan and played very well, but many felt that the starting power forward would still be Brandon Bass. And then I read this little tidbit:
Coach Doc Rivers said he hasn't made any decisions about starters yet, but he suggested that he could use several different lineups depending on the matchup. In addition to Sullinger or Brandon Bass starting at the 4, Rivers said he could use Darko Milicic at center and slide Kevin Garnett back to his familiar turf.
"We can slide Kevin over to the four to start games. The first half of the year I don’t know if that’s a bad thing, so Kevin doesn't have a wrestling match the entire season with the bigs," Rivers said. "There’s a lot of thoughts. We may go to a transitional starting lineup, have three different starting lineups. We’ve put a lot of thought into it, we’ll just figure it out."
So, we may see different starting lineups depending on the matchup. So, Darko may start vs Philly where he would be opposite Andrew Bynum so that they could bang each other around instead of KG having to do it. That's very interesting. And, no, Lex, I didn't miss the part about Darko possibly starting. Doc also said that he's not as worried about the starting lineup as he is the second unit and by putting a starter in with the reserves, it could strengthen that unit. Am I hearing the prelude to starting Green in place of Pierce? I've already had a few musings on that move and possibly this is a prelude to Doc making that move eventually sometime in the year. One thing I do know is that Doc is going to have fun moving all the pieces of this deep roster around. As for Sully, Doc, Rondo and KG all were singing his praises. We may see him starting sooner rather than later. Here is what Rondo had to say about the rookie:
"He’s probably the smartest rookie we’ve had since I’ve been here," Rondo said. "He’s very intelligent. High basketball IQ and he’s very unselfish. He doesn’t need a play called for him. He’s been getting his points off the dirty work."
More Doc after practice after the Jump.
#CelticsTalk: "I've said before if you can take a starter and put him on the second unit, that's good for the second unit."- Doc Rivers.
— A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) October 10, 2012
Doc Rivers will experiment with different starting lineups, inserting Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger, Jeff Green and Darko Milicic. #Celtics
— Mike Gambardella (@BIG3Sports) October 10, 2012