The Celtics managed to pull off a win Sunday night over the New York Knicks despite their bench scoring a total of eight points. Yes, 8 points indeed.
Teams can win in the regular season without a contribution from their benches, but this is the NBA playoffs and teams cannot expect to go deep into the playoffs if the one sided trend continues.
The Celtics employed a 9 man rotation with Jeff Green, Glen Davis, Nenad Krstic and Delonte West coming off the bench to rest the aging starting five. Each was horrible in their own right, Jeff Green looked lost at times scoring four points and failing to grab a rebound in 17 minutes played, Glen Davis managed to grab five rebounds but went a paltry 1-for-8 from the field for his two point effort, Nenad Krstic managed to grab a few rebounds, but was limited to five first half minutes and Delonte West looked hesitant at times running the offense. Said head coach Doc Rivers: “He’ll be fine, it’s just one game. Delonte was just over thinking it a little bit. I thought he was passive, for him. But that happens.”
With game 2 comes another opportunity for the team’s second unit to step up and establish themselves against a Knicks team that is at best playing with 5 players. However, if the trend continues it will be hard to achieve the same results as game one. Aside from Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen, the Celtics starters cannot play at a high level whilst playing extended minutes.