Doc tells Keyon Dooling to 'get in shape', says a return is possible
As soon as it became clear that Rajon Rondo's season was over, Keyon Dooling's name popped up as a potential replacement for him on the roster. After all, Dooling is around the team consistently as a Player Development Coordinator, and it has been just seven and a half months since he last suited up for the Green. Dooling said immediately after the injury that he'd consider a comeback, but that he "wasn't in shape". Well Keyon, Doc Rivers has a request (per the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn).
Doc Rivers said Keyon Dooling coming back is a possibility and he has told Dooling to start getting in shape #celtics
— gary washburn (@GwashNBAGlobe) January 29, 2013
Dooling would certainly add leadership to the locker room, and no one doubts how hard he plays while on the court, but is he really the right choice?
Last season Dooling gave the team 4.0 points and 1.1 assists in just over 14 minutes per game, and he also played really well in Games 3 & 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals vs Miami (17 points in 36 minutes on 6-9 shooting in the two games combined). However, when Dooling was on the court last season, the Celtics were a far worse team on both offense, and defense. The numbers:
With Dooling on the court (661 minutes): Celtics averaged 94.1 points per 100 possessions, and allowed 105.0 pts/100 possessions, -10.9 differential.
With Dooling on the bench (2,527 minutes): C's averaged 103.3 points per 100 possessions, and allowed 96.9 pts/100 possessions, +6.4 differential.
When you consider the Celtics were -10.9 points per 100 possessions with Dooling on the court, and +6.9 with him on the bench, that's a fairly incredible 17.3 point swing in the wrong direction for the Celts once KD entered the game.
Of course +/- numbers are not perfect. Dooling played most of his minutes with a bench unit that struggled mightily during the majority of the 2011-12 season, and that is certainly not all on him. But he's also now 32 years old, admittedly out of shape, and has seen his production dip in each of the past 4 seasons. While the PG market is most definitely bare, I think Danny Ainge owes it to his team to look a little deeper before bringing KD back in the fold.
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