After Boston’s bench performed like a fish out of water during round one, Glen Davis spoke out on behalf of his second unit. During Boston’s two days off, Davis had taken it easy, “chilled,” met penguins and fed seals. No, that’s not some kind of weird fat joke. He really did. But when the team reconvened today, Davis preached the importance of Boston’s depth.
“I feel like our bench is way stronger than [Miami's],” Davis told ESPN Boston. “We’re way deeper than them. We’ve just got to make sure that we use our depth.”
Ahh, “we’ve just got to make sure that we use our depth.” Indeed, on paper the Davis-Delonte-West-Jeff Green-Nenad Krstic quartet should significantly outperform Miami’s “James Jones-Joel Anthony-Mario Chalmers-and-let’s pray Dwyane Wade and Lebron James play 45 minutes” unit. But the Celtics also should have had a big advantage against New York’s thinner-than-Tayshaun-Prince bench, especially after New York had been hurt by injuries. Sadly, you already know how that went.
Boston’s second unit has the talent, we know. But using that talent to make a positive impact has proven to be troublesome. Thankfully, the Celtics afforded themselves quite a bit of practice time by sending New York to an early vacation.
“I told you all year, the opponent’s been us,” said Rivers. “So we get a chance to work on our stuff, very similar to training camp. When you’re starting training camp, you really don’t have an opponent, you really just trying to work on all your stuff. We have an opportunity to do that with us, so that’s good.”
Ideally, Boston wouldn’t need a training camp of sorts at this juncture of the season. But the bench needs to mesh, and this extra practice time could prove essential. It’s time the on-court product starts to match the paper promise.