With the first real game in the books, we can now see what Doc considers to be his regular rotation. We can also see who's missing from that rotation. Now I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this because we're talking about Championship contenders here. Clearly the top of the rotation guys are the ones that are going to matter in June. However, since preseason questions are still lingering in my mind, I thought I'd explore what we learned about the end of the bench after one night.
First of all Cassell is still inactive. I haven't read every story yet, but I haven't heard anything about him being hurt per-se. I think Gabe must have just played himself onto the active roster. At least at the beginning of the season, it makes sense to see what the kid can do and to try to build him up for the future because he might be a long term solution at the backup spot. If not, it would be good to find out soon. Sam is content to sit and rest up for the playoff run (unless Pruitt really impresses and maybe Sam just collects a paycheck and retires sometime during the season).
Second of all, Patrick O'Bryant was a DNP-CD last night. That can't be a good sign for the kid, especially with Perkins in foul trouble all night. The Notorious POB started out the preseason well, but faded over time. And Doc openly talked about his lack of intensity:
"Like we tell him every day, there’s Patrick speed and then there’s Celtics speed," said Rivers
Now keep in mind, Doc has talked in the past about how Big Baby plays Big Z pretty well because he can body him up better than most. O'Bryant would be pushed around pretty easy by a guy that size. However, to see the guy get no minutes at all seems like a vote of no-confidence by Doc. There's still time for him to earn a spot, but so far he's replacing Scot Pollard more than PJ Brown.
Scalabrine was the other DNP-CD so that means the other two inactives were the rookies. No surprise there. Once the D-League season begins, I hope to see both of them down there to get some playing time. In particular JR Giddens who needs to get his confidence back up after a poor preseason showing.
On the court, we saw Eddie House play the backup point position. He didn't seem to be too bothered by ball pressure but the offense visibly picked up whenever Rondo re-entered the game. And when Eddie's shot isn't falling, he's just not that much of an asset. However, his shot is going to fall more often than not and I think he'll be fine.
I honestly didn't follow Big Baby too closely during the game, but he didn't seem to be out of place and it looks like he picked up a few (4) rebounds in his 15 minutes.
So I think it is safe to say that the rotation looks a little something like this:
- Starting 5
- Tony Allen, Leon Powe, Eddie House - initial subs off the bench
- Big Baby - situational sub for when Perk is in foul trouble
- O'Bryant, Pruitt - ready in case of specific matchup or injury
- Scalabrine - ready in case of 10 player brawl resulting in mass ejections
I promise I'll talk less about the end of the bench as we get more into the season.