Depth revealed in Doc's odd crunch time lineup

Green and Barbosa (#12) scored 16 points a piece against the Jazz, and were both on the floor to close out the game.

With 4:54 to go in the third quarter last night, Rajon Rondo tweaked an ankle and did not return.  This enabled the much heralded Boston bench to finally shine in the way we've all expected them too.  For the evening the Celtics reserves outscored their Jazz counterparts 47-25 (and nearly the C's starters as well, who put up a combined 51 points).  Despite the fact that it was a tight hard fought game, no Celtic played more than 32 minutes (Bass), and the "old men" Garnett and Pierce logged just 30 and 29 respectively.

Maybe even more encouraging is the way things unfolded down the stretch.  Barbosa and Green played the entire 4th quarter (as well as Garnett), and Lee and Sullinger were on the court for the frame's first 8 minutes (Doc only made one substitution in the quarter, Pierce and Bass for Lee and Sullinger with 4:09 left).

Noticeably absent from the lineup with the game on the line was Jason Terry.  Does this mean anything?  My guess would be "no," for the same reason that I wasn't very discouraged by the Celtics slow start to the season: It's still early, and Doc has a lot of new pieces to play with.  At the moment he and his team are just trying to figure things out.  Rivers knows he's got a proven clutch veteran player in Terry (who's not lacking in the confidence department); but last night Lee and Barbosa were getting the job done, so he gave them an opportunity to prove themselves when it mattered.  Games like this are essential for Boston in their effort to become a title contender come spring time.

I managed to catch the second half from the front row, and took the above picture from my cellphone; as well as this video of Paul Pierce draining a big three in the third quarter (turn your volume down first, it's loud).

Follow Mark on twitter @LucidSportsFan