Doc Rivers tried out a new starting lineup in Wednesday night's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he's ready to go with that unit again tonight as the Celtics host the Milwaukee Bucks. The Jasons -- Jason Collins and Jason Terry -- are again in Boston's first five.
"The Jasons," Rivers snickered when asked about the duo. "It sounds like a group."
The Celtics cruised in their first game with the new lineup, as Collins posted a sparkling plus-23 as the C's center and Boston beat Cleveland 103-91. But Rivers has downplayed the importance of the rotation shift, despite the abrupt change in Collins' minutes from zero to 23 in Wednesday's win.
"I've said this a hundred times -- the starting lineup is not as important as everyone thinks it is," Rivers insisted. "I [made the change] more for Kevin [Garnett], in a way, just to get him some minutes at the four instead of the five, and until Avery [Bradley] comes back, for Jason Terry, just to get him a shot."
While Collins' presence in the rotation has meant fewer minutes for Chris Wilcox and Jeff Green, there's no doubt that the biggest effect has been less pressure on Garnett to man the low post. KG has been the Celtics' de facto center ever since Jermaine O'Neal fell off the face of the earth a year ago; now, with Collins in the mix, Garnett can shift back to his natural position.
"I thought he played great," Rivers said of Garnett at the four. "I thought it he seemed like he had more energy. I mean, it's one game, so it's a tough thing to look at -- we'll find out in a month what it does, really. But it looked like he had more energy because he had another guy covering for him, so he didn't feel like he had to do everything on defense.
"What I liked about Jason was his talking, which was terrific," the coach added. "That helped Kevin."