May 22, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Indiana Pacers shooting guard Leandro Barbosa (28) during game 5 of the 2012 NBA eastern conference semi-finals against the Miami Heat at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Boston Celtics Signing of Leandro Barbosa Signals Different Approach to Point Guard Duties

“I love his speed, his ability to handle the ball. we don’t have a backup point (guard), but we have another ballhandler. Our theory is if we throw three ballhandlers out on the floor, someone can bring the ball up — and that’s the way we’ll play with our second unit.” … – Doc Rivers

The signing of Leandro Barbosa only further strengthened the backcourt, but what it didn’t do was provide a true backup point guard.  With Dionte Christmas just having been cut, it signals that the Celtics are not looking to go with a traditional backcourt rotation, but rather, as Rivers said “throw three ball handlers out on the court” at once, to do a point guard by-committee approach.

Paul Pierce is the kind of point-forward that can make this work, serving as the third ball handler in addition to both guards.

It will likely work out just fine.

Courtney Lee played spot point guard duties his rookie season in Orlando, and Jason Terry has always been an adequate ball handler.  Avery Bradley is an above average ball handler for a two-guard, of course, as well.  Barbosa is a shoot-first point guard more than a two-guard in most respects, but the array of ball handlers will serve the Celtics just fine as they go with a non-traditional approach to backing up starter Rajon Rondo.

Besides that, it’s not as though Rondo won’t be playing major minutes, making the spot PG duties only a minor concern in the first place.

Tags: Avery Bradley Boston Celtics Courtney Lee Jason Terry Leandro Barbosa Paul Pierce

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