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Better Bench Play

The bench has stepped up along with the starters in this latest win streak.  From the Globe:

Another key for the Celtics of late is better bench play. Eddie House scored 23 of the bench's 49 points yesterday and 25 points in the recent win over Miami. Glen Davis scored a season-high 16 points off the bench against Orlando last Thursday. And all this has come with reserve guard Tony Allen, considered the best bench player, out with a sprained right ankle for 11 straight games.

"Our bench, over this streak, has played the best they've been playing all year," Rivers said. "It's because there is no ball stoppage. The ball is moving on offense. They're sharing the ball. They're cheering for each other. Everyone is falling back into the role [we] needed them to play. I thought early in the year, it was a fight to get guys in a role.

"They wanted to do more. They wanted to do extra. They see we are a better team when we do [get guys in a role]."

An interesting subtext to this is the absence of Tony Allen due to injury.  Doc addressed his eventual return:

Coach Doc Rivers said Allen's style of play might have to change to fit into the team's recent emphasis on ball movement.

"The bench has been playing well the last two or three weeks," Rivers said. "They have a great rhythm, great trust, the ball moves. When Tony gets back he is going to have to get into that rhythm."

A lot of fans have been frustrated with Tony this season and see this latest good streak as evidence that he was hurting the team while on the court.  Reading between the lines, you have to wonder if Doc is saying that Tony was stifling ball movement. 

Personally I think Tony can find a role (like Doc is talking about) but we will always have to live with his maddening inconsistency.  We'll see how much Doc alters the rotation when Tony gets back to full speed.

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