In last night's inspiring 92-86 victory at MSG, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers used just two players off the bench; Jason Terry for 35 minutes (no surprise), and 17 for Terrence Williams. Yup, the same Terrence Williams who was playing in China three months ago. In fact, when Doc had to give Kevin Garnett a much needed breather halfway through the 4th quarter, Williams was the guy he turned to.
While it may appear shocking that a seemingly insignificant late season pickup would see crunch time playoff minutes, in reality it makes perfect sense. The Celtics have been playing without a point guard. Avery Bradley has just 1 assist in the past 3 games combined. He's been unable to handle the defensive pressure of Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, and Pablo Prigioni. Paul Pierce helps out some from the point forward role; but the Knicks have often made him look his age in the series, and he's turned the ball over at least 5 times in each contest.
Going back to the first game in which he got significant minutes for Boston, Williams has always been confident handling the ball, and he tends to make smart decisions. This tweet from WEEI's Ben Rohrbach also helps explain the situation. He's referring to what Jackie MacMullan had to say on the "Mut and Merloni Show" today:
Also from the great Jackie Mac: Celtics "can't trust Bradley right now," vets trust T-Will & Lee "lost Doc's confidence."
— Ben Rohrbach (@brohrbach) May 2, 2013
Without Rajon Rondo, T-Will is the best available point guard on the C's roster. Handing him the ball in tense situations may be a key factor in the Celtics extending this series. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him get even more run back home in Game 6.
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Mark Vandeusen 5/02/2013 02:51:00 PM Tweet Edit