Doc's 11: Celtics to use at least three starting lineups

Jared Wickerham

After today's practice, Doc Rivers suggested that he'll mix-and-match his starting five depending on match ups and other factors.

When I was a kid, my brothers and I would throw all our toys into a huge pile and basically do a fantasy draft. Every He-Man and master of the universe, every G.I. Joe action figure, and every Transformer was up for grabs and we'd try and pick the best lineup for an all-out toy war. It sounds like Doc has plenty of toys to choose from this season:

Practice report: Terry's change of heart

Rivers said that, despite the increased depth this season, he still plans to run with a 10- (maybe 11-) man rotation early in the season. "We're not going to go that deep," he said. "We'll go the same. Early in the year, I play 10 guys, whether we have good 10 or not. Ten guys played last year, because you have to get through the season. It'll be 10 this year, for the most part."

The Celtics will carry 15 players out of camp and it's likely that rookies Fab Melo and Kris Joseph will take up the end of the roster (spending time in the D-League at times). Avery Bradley (shoulders) is out to start the year, but that still leaves two spots that won't see much action if Rivers sticks with that 10-man plan. Jason Collins will be a situational player, but that still puts the onus of the likes of Wilcox or Leandro Barbosa to show they deserve consistent minutes.

I'm guessing that the most used starting lineup is going to be Rondo, Lee, Pierce, Bass, and Garnett. If Doc goes big, say against the Sixers or Lakers, he'll move KG to his more natural 4 spot and throw Darko into the middle. For smaller, quicker lineups like Miami on opening night, we could see Green starting in place of Lee or Bass, depending on match ups. There's still the question of what Doc will do when Avery Bradley returns in mid-December and it sounds like Sullinger will draw the occasional start, too.

One thing is clear: Doc has options. I've mentioned it in the past, but what I'm most interested in is how Doc decides to utilize the roster. Will he match up based on what the other team has on the floor or will he rather try and dictate the size and pace of the game on his own terms? In the past, options were limited and there were times that they would just have to out-execute teams to win. I think that that was the key component to the high number of turnovers; on the offensive end, so many things had to happen perfectly and if plays broke down, there wasn't an alternative. This team, however, can play all types of basketball. Doc can go big, small, defensive, and offensive. Almost every player on the roster can put the ball on the floor and score.

Four more days.

Let's go, Celtics! et's go, Celtics! Let's go, Celtics! Let's go, Celtics! Let's go, Celtics! Let's go, Celtics! Let's go, Celtics! Let's go, Celtics! Let's go, Celtics! Let's go, Celtics! Let's go, Celtics! Let's go, Celtics! Let's go, Celtics! Let's go, Celtics!

Celtics fans chant "Let's go Celtics!" for four minutes to end Game 6 (via OUOutreach)


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