With or Without O'Neal, Bass Will Remain Starter

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 13: Brandon Bass #30 of the Boston Celtics takes a shot in the first quarter against the Chicago Bulls on January 13, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. 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)

Interesting tidbit from the Boston Herald regarding Brandon Bass' new role as a starter.

Doc noted new guard - BostonHerald.com

Jermaine O’Neal, who is seeking alternate opinions about his sore left wrist after taking a cortisone shot last week, is not holding up the starting rotation. Rivers said he decided during the All-Star break to start bringing O’Neal off the bench.

The reason is a quicker, more athletic team with Kevin Garnett at center and Brandon Bass at power forward. O’Neal, then, is back where he started last season — as a reserve.

“We’re quicker, there’s no doubt, and Kevin has been fantastic at the 5,” Rivers said. “I had made the decision even before the injury — when Brandon and Kevin come back, that will be our starting five, and JO and Chris (Wilcox) and whoever else will come off the bench. I made that decision long before whether he was coming back or not.” . .

Barring a trade, it looks like this is going to be the starting lineup going forward. We haven't seen this type of lineup consistently during the KG era where he plays center next to a smaller power forward. With only one dominant center in the Eastern Conference (Dwight Howard), this may not be a bad decision as this lineup has proven to put points on the board with more than 100 in each of the last three games (this has only happened 7 times all season.)

If O'Neal remains injured, another big man may be needed where neither Greg Stiemsma nor JaJuan Johnson may be ready to be that second big man off the bench role. Also, with Bass now in the starting lineup, another scorer for that second unit is a near necessity. I'd like to see the rumors come true and see the Celtics make trade for the Raptors' Leandro Barbosa who could provide the instant offense that is needed. I actually wanted them to draft him over Marcus Banks back in 2003, why not make him a Celtic now Danny?

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