Benchmarked

The Celtics bench was a concern coming into the season.  They developed into a strength during the year.  Then injuries happened and now we have Big Baby in the starting linup and little depth behind him in the frontcourt.  As noted already, the bench scored a paltry 9 points in the last game.  Excuses aside, that's pretty much unexceptable.

We know that Leon Powe is now out for good.  We know that Brian Scalabrine is going to play but we don't know exactly what he can give us.  We know that Mikki Moore can give us a bunch of fouls ("I think I wake up with 2 or 3 fouls in the morning." - Mikki).  Bottom line, I'm not expecting much out of the backup bigs.

The backcourt, however, is an area where we could see some improvement.  Eddie House in particular can catch fire at any moment.  I'm not sure why Tony Allen wasn't used more last game, but if Doc can find him some minutes, he might be an asset on defense.  And then there's Starbury.

There are a lot of strong opinions about him but at least he's doing and saying all the right things.  He's still capable of turning a game in our favor.  Scott Souza reports on some positive signs.

While the news of Leon Powe’s season-ending ACL tear will dominate discussion today, a look for something more positive found Stephon Marbury shooting for better than a half hour after most of his teammates left the court.

Marbury worked up a furious sweat and hit more than 100 3-pointers (OK, not in a row) before finally calling it quits. At times during the workout, he had to pause to catch his breath and was bent over with hands on his knees.

Rivers said after Game 1 that he needs to play Marbury more and said today that Marbury has been the team’s best defender on Ben Gordon in the series.

Add in Rajon Rondo’s right ankle sprain and there could be a lot more Marbury on the horizon.

Scott concludes with this:

For all the negative that we heard about Marbury - and there was a lot to hear for anyone willing to listen - he has been nothing like as described during his two months in Boston.

He has been complimentary of teammates, polite to the media, and seems to have maintained a great enthusiasm about being in Boston even though his play has probably not been as strong as he’d hoped.

Score one for the merits of fresh starts.

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