Could this year's bench be better than the 2008 bench?

Questions Concerning The Celtics Bench... And Doc Rivers

Coming into the 2009-2010 Boston Celtics season there were talks about Boston’s bench being one of the deepest and most talented benches in recent history. With the offseason acquisitions of Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels it was very hard to believe otherwise. After all the Celtics would be rolling out a second unit that includes three guys (Davis, Daniels, Wallace) who could probably start on half the teams in the NBA.

These three players along with two other great role players (House and Allen) seemed like they could be an unstoppable force. Some people, including myself, questioned whether this lineup could compete with some of the bottom-tier starting lineups in the league.

Sadly to say, thirty-four games into the season the Celtics bench has not proved to be the strong force that we all assumed they would be. Of course an easy thing to put the blame on is injuries. Since the first game of the regular season the Celtics have been dealing with injuries.

It all started two days before the season opener in Cleveland when Glen “Big Baby” Davis broke his right hand in an altercation with a former teammate. This injury ultimately put a hole in the Celtics lineup that could not be fully filled by the likes of Shelden Williams and Brian Scalabrine.

The next injury on the timeline occurred in early December when recently acquired Marquis Daniels went down with his own hand injury. Until Davis’s return on December 25th the Celtics were without two of their key bench players.

Now don’t get all excited, the list doesn’t stop there. Both Tony Allen and Eddie House, two key bench players, have recently missed games because of sickness. Granted all of these guys aren’t Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett, but they still have a dramatic impact on the team’s overall performance.

So by now you’re probably all saying, “What’s your point?” Well my point, most recently supported last night, is that the Celtics bench is not doing the job that it needs to be doing. In the past two games the C’s bench has been outscored by its opponents by a total of thirty-five points (Miami (25), Atlanta (10)).

I am not one to jump on the “Fire Doc” bandwagon quickly, but recently I have been very annoyed by his coaching style. At one point during last night’s game, and a few previous games, Doc has had a starting lineup on the floor that consisted of Tony Allen, Eddie House, Brian Scalabrine, Glen Davis, and Shelden Williams.

I personally want to ask a question here. Where is the scoring coming from in this lineup? Eddie House? Maybe, but we all know that Eddie is not one to create his own scoring; instead he relies on great ball movement to get his shots up coming off of a pass.

So my question is still up in the air, where is the scoring from this unit coming from? And by the way, this is ignoring the fact that Shelden Williams could not play good defense if his life depended on it. The guy looks totally lost out there and is even getting schooled by guys like Zaza Pachulia. But anyways, that’s another fish to fry.

Back to my point, I think that this is a perfect, I REPEAT, PERFECT time to get young Bill Walker and J.R Giddens quality playing time. Can they really do any worse than what Scalabrine is currently doing? In the past five games Scalabrine has a total of zero points in sixty-one minutes, combine this with 0-7 shooting (0-4 from three point land) and it leaves me to ask one simple question, why? There is no doubt in my mind that Walker and Giddens are ten times as athletic as both Scalabrine and Williams. These guys want to play and are working hard so why not give them a shot?

Is it a chemistry issue between player and coach? Is it Doc Rivers’ pride that keeps him from playing younger players? I’m really not sure but I do know one thing, the Boston Celtics bench needs to start providing some sort of production for the team. Maybe I am jumping the gun, but even with injuries this bench should be doing far more than they currently are. I guess we can only wait until this team, and its bench are completely healthy to get a true feel as to what this team is really all about.

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