A lot of different ideas have been thrown around over the past week, most of them have been trade ideas. Another idea that's starting to pick up speed is moving Paul Pierce, one of the Celtics greatest scorers ever, to the bench. Sounds crazy, huh? Well not so fast.
Let's say that the new Celtics starting lineup is as follows:
PG- Rajon Rondo
SG- Ray Allen
SF- Mickael Pietrus
PF- Kevin Garnett
C- Jermaine O'Neal
Pietrus isn't the scorer Pierce is, but he is a capable outside shooter and an upgrade in the speed/athleticism departments. Part of the Celtics problem is that when they get stops then transition in to offense... it's usually just Rondo ahead of the pack with everyone else slowly following. Mickael Pietrus could provide Rondo with a new defensive-minded running partner like he had in Tony Allen, only Pietrus is a career .359 Three-Point shooter.
At the 5:00 mark of the 1st quarter Kevin Garnett leaves the game and is replaced by Brandon Bass. This would be a time for Doc to gauge whether or not it's time to bring in his new weapon off the bench, Paul Pierce. Doc could also decide whether he will be replacing Pietrus or Ray Allen with The Truth. Against Chicago Doc Rivers went with the Pietrus/Pierce combo quite a bit as Air France is a dramatic defensive upgrade over the 36 year old Ray Allen.
With Bass and Pierce now playing extensive minutes off the bench, the 2nd unit will now be much more capable of scoring against the other teams' backups. A projected 2nd unit lineup could be as follows:
PG- Keyon Dooling
SG- E'Twaun Moore
SF- Paul Pierce
PF- Brandon Bass
C- Greg Stiemsma
I don't want to over/under rate anybody, but that's some pretty good shooting to stretch the floor and allow Paul Pierce to go to work against the other team's backup small forward.
When it comes to the 4th quarter I'd still roll with the current starters, probably Bass in for Jermaine O'Neal. If everything falls into plan the new lineup changes should create quicker and more consistent starts, and if the team doesn't need to spend the entire 2nd half crawling back into the game... the old guys might have a fighting chance of closing out a few more wins.
Notable Boston Celtics 6th Men include:
Kevin McHale ('83 & '84 Sixth Man Of The Year)
Bill Walton ('85 Sixth Man Of The Year)
Frank Ramsey (The league's originator of the "Sixth Man" role)