There have been enough new rotation players, and new rotation strengths and weaknesses, added to warrant playing expected combinations together enough to familiarize and work out the kinks. When they hit camp almost half will never have checked in at the scorer’s table wearing Celtics’ green. Four will never have logged a single minute in an NBA game. On the other hand when they roll the ball out on October 26, the non-Rondo starters will be 32, 33, 34, and 35 years old. A key substitute will clock in at 38. With a roster constructed almost entirely of high-mileage vets and wide-eyed youngsters, camp will necessarily be operating somewhat at cross purposes. Incorporate and integrate the veterans without exhausting their ever-dwindling reservoirs while pushing as much knowledge, action, and experience as possible into the rookies.
So what do you do when the starters need to be limited to an hour; the second unit (except Shaq) need two hours; and the new youngsters need three hours twice a day? Compounding the problem is the fact that each group needs an opposing five against which to sharpen their skills and test their mettle. We’ll be here all week (hashing this out) but I’ll give you a hint at where I’m going by posing this question: What other players would you invite to camp? With limited, perhaps no, roster room and with-regrets RSVP’s from Janning and Sims already, this is no trivial problem.