Filling in nicely.
We spend a lot of time in the offseason and especially in the preseason talking about how the team will round out the final roster spots. Sometimes it seems silly since the team's ultimate fate will be decided by the stars of the team and the reserves at times seem almost interchangeable. But times like these, the need for depth (deep depth) is very apparent.
The Celtics have 3 rookies on the team and all three played non-garbage time minutes last night. Erden in particular shined the brightest in a starting role. KG certainly was impressed.
"Big night for Semih," Garnett said. "I thought Semih gave us some valuable minutes tonight (24). I thought he was active. "What y’all don’t know, man, is that kid has a lot of confidence in himself. He has a lot of confidence in himself, and he’s very skillful either hand. (He) had a lot of post-game moves. He has a brilliant game. You know, he played against Shaq and J.O. in camp, and he held his own — and that’s saying a lot.
But it wasn't just Semih-Pro on this night. The other two rooks got in on the action as well.
Erden wasn’t the only rookie earning praise from the vets. Avery Bradley and Luke Harangody both saw time in the first half as Rivers sought to give the starters extra rest early in the game coming off the draining effort in New York Wednesday night. Harangody had four points on two long jumpers, plus impressed the coaches with his effort play on loose balls, while Avery Bradley took another baby step on the way to what someday might be a productive NBA career.
Glad to see the rookies and end-of-bench guys contributing. Makes the many hours we spend talking about them in the offseason a little more worth it.