Ray Allen and Paul Pierce have been playing too many minutes all season. As aging stars heading into the last legs of their careers, they should be the recipients of lighter workloads and fewer minutes.
Heading into the season, it was thought that getting Pierce and Allen rest would be far easier than last season; with Marquis Daniels around, Doc Rivers would have the confidence of at least one backup wing. Plus, Tony Allen has always gotten a few minutes, and Bill Walker was supposed to be coming into his own this season (at least a little bit).
But now, with Daniels and Allen out with injury and illness and Walker and J.R. Giddens failing to earn Doc’s trust, Pierce and Allen are again shouldering the brunt of the Celtics’ perimeter duties. Pierce and Allen a’re older now and less capable of handling the pounding of such large amounts of minutes, but Doc Rivers refuses to give the young guys an opportunity to play. Why doesn’t he? I’m not exactly sure, especially when Giddens looked halfway decent in his one start this season and Walker impressed in limited time last year.
But tonight might finally be the night Doc starts to lean on his youngsters, so he told the MetroWest Daily News:
“I told them after the game (Monday night), ‘Guys, I’m going to play you all. We’ve got to all be ready,”‘ said Rivers. “I’ve got no problem doing that. J.R. (Giddens) and Billy (Walker), someone is going to give us a lift each night until we get right.”
No problem doing that, huh Doc? Then what’s taken you so goddamn long? If you have no problem doing it, why’d you log the starting five so many damn minutes against Atlanta? Why haven’t you given the young guys a chance?
Anyway, I digress. Doc continued:
“We’ve just got to get through these next couple of weeks. We’ve got tons of injuries. Paul’s not right yet coming off the knee. He’s got to get that stronger. We have two bigs out, Marquis out and our best offensive player not healthy.”
It sounds like the perfect storm to play the young guys some extended minutes, and Doc finally seems committed to giving them a shot but….
I’ve seen this before, and I know how it works out. At the first sign of trouble, or the first close game, Doc will sub Pierce and Allen right back in and leave them in the game until their legs fall off.
I hope this is the time Doc finally starts to rely on the C’s young blood, but I’ve been around Doc long enough to believe that’s probably not the case.
Paul Pierce said, “We’re going to need these [bench] guys bigtime to battle through injuries.”
But why not play the bench guys in times of health, and maybe prevent the injuries altogether?