Ryan Gomes stands out as an example of a young player who flourished despite Doc's initial handling and not because of it. Recall that Gomes was glued to the Boston bench in the first half of the 2005-06 season, logging 13 consecutive DNP-CDs before the Ricky Davis trade (packaged along with Marcus Banks, Mark Blount and Justin Reed in exchange for Wally Z, the Kandi Man and Dwayne Jones). It was the long-term injuries suffered by Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins within a two week span following the Davis trade, however, that finally forced Rivers to insert Gomes into the regular lineup.
Now I'm one of the bigger Bill Walker fans and I'd love to see him get a shot, but I think I'm getting a little over-saturated with all this "play-Walker" stuff.
Doc has a maddening habit of playing his vets longer than we'd like him to (for a myriad of reasons). But just about any decent coach is going to want to win the game in front of him and is going to feel more comfortable with vets than not. It happens. He also played JR and Lester in the last game. He just chose not to play Walker.
Maybe he's not in top shape after injuries set him back. Maybe he's not grasping the defensive rotations quickly enough. Maybe he hasn't had enough practice time. Maybe, just maybe, he's not playing well enough to earn the time.
We just don't know because we aren't there. For every Ryan Gomes there has been a Gerald Green. For every Rajon Rondo there has been a Marcus Banks. If Walker earns the time and does something with it, great. If not, well, that's life. If the biggest complaint I have is that the guy at the end of the bench never gets a legit shot, I think I can live with that.