Another Day, Another Starting Lineup

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 06: Rajon Rondo #9 ,Ray Allen #20, Jermaine O'Neal#7, Paul Pierce #34 and Kevin Garnett react on the bench as the game ends against the Indiana Pacers on January 6, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Indiana Pacers defeated the Boston Celtics 87-74. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Via Chris Forsberg of ESPN

Already down Rajon Rondo due to suspension and with Jermaine O'Neal (sprained left wrist) and Chris Wilcox (right adductor strain) nursing day-to-day injuries, the Celtics might be forced to use a 13th variation of their starting lineup Wednesday night during the pre-All-Star finale against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

A glance at the 12 other lineups used this season, with their record (with help from numbers maintained by Celtics' media relations):


Games Forward Forward Center Guard Guard Record
3 Pavlovic Garnett O’Neal Allen Rondo 0-3
12 Pierce Garnett O’Neal Allen Rondo 6-6
1 Pierce Garnett Stiemsma Allen Rondo 1-0
1 Pierce Garnett O’Neal Dooling Rondo 1-0
2 Pierce Garnett Bass Allen Rondo 0-2
4 Pierce Garnett O’Neal Allen Bradley 3-1
2 Pierce Bass Garnett Pietrus Bradley 2-0
1 Pierce Garnet O’Neal Pavlovic Bradley 1-0
1 Pierce Bass Garnett Allen Bradley 0-1
1 Pierce Wilcox Garnett Allen Rondo 1-0
1 Pierce Wilcox O’Neal Allen Rondo 0-2
1 Pierce Wilcox O’Neal Allen Bradley 0-1

What's startling to me is that we are only 31 games in and we've seen this many lineups for a team with four definite starters. The only spot in question may be the center spot, but it has remained clear that Jermaine O'Neal is Doc's starter when healthy. From my standpoint for a completely healthy roster, I'd like to see Chris Wilcox start games with the Big-4. Having someone to run with Rondo is a necessity and this lineup would also give the second unit a bonafide defending big man in O'Neal. They haven't lost with this starting lineup yet (1-0 baby!) although it was against the D-Roseless Bulls. Wilcox needs a playmaker on the floor with him to maximize his efficiency getting to the rim and Rondo fits this bill perfectly. Why not give it a shot Doc? What do you guys think?

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