The NBA had a small tremor last night. Avery Bradley started, which is no longer news.
But the player who came off the bench in his stead, Ray Allen, was a sub for only the fifth time in his career — with last night the 1,145th game of the Celtics [team stats] guard’s career.
As it turns out, Allen approached Doc Rivers about making the change. The Celtics veteran could sense that a change was coming.
“Well, people were talking about it,” he said after the Celtics’ 93-86 loss to the Bulls. “It was being talked about a lot. I can’t say that it was my idea — I don’t ever want to come off the bench. But if it can help the team, and that’s what they needed me to do, then I would be up for it.
“At the end of the day your minutes don’t change, and that’s one thing I’m very cognizant about when I’m out there in the flow,” said Allen. “It’s an ego thing to start, and my ego is not that big where I feel I have to be in the starting lineup.”
Those words from Allen, who finished with 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting and played the last nine minutes of the fourth quarter, were like music to Rivers.
“We’ve been talking about this for awhile,” said the Celtics coach. “Our bench is very lean and we’ve been trying to go with some different looks. Ray came to me tonight and wanted to do it. We’re just trying to get ready for the playoffs and our rotations.”
Classy, unselfish move by Ray Allen. Contrast this with Allen Iverson and you'll see why one of these guys ended up with a longer NBA career.
My personal thought is who cares who starts? Not that big a deal. Manu Ginobili has made a great career for himself coming off the bench. If Avery Bradley was forced to come off the bench the rest of the season it wouldn't have hurt the Celtics. Minutes is a factor. Who starts? noit so much.