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David Lee makes case for more playing time

It took less than ten games for David Lee to go from starter to the back end of the bench, but it could be time to give the oldest vet/highest paid Celtic/trade chip more playing time.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

When you play the Dallas Mavericks, you know you're going to go up against a bunch of vets.  They're always a bunch of guys that have been around the league for a few years.  There's Dirk Nowitzki with that patented fall away.  You know where Wesley Matthews wants to get his shots.  We've all seen Zaza Pachulia's grappling moves in the paint a thousand times.  And the only thing different from Deron Williams in 2006 and Deron Williams in 2015 is his hairline (or lack there of).

You know who has all their moves and tendencies stored away in his little 10-year-old notebook?  David Lee.

It was the third game in three different cities in four nights for the Celtics and at times, they looked gassed.  You know that Brad Stevens was going to have to go to his bench early and often against a Dallas team that--despite their age--rank 12th in offensive efficiency and 10th in pace.  In Oklahoma City and Houston, Lee played a combined 19 minutes in back-to-back blowouts and he was primed for some quality playing time against the Mavericks.

The grizzled veteran (and dare I say future Mav) responded well with 14 points on 4-for-7 shooting in 15 minutes of play.

I get why Stevens has Lee on the outside looking in of the big man rotation.  Jared Sullinger is younger and playing better and worth more to the franchise as we head into next summer.  Lee doesn't have the versatility value of Kelly Olynyk or Jonas Jerebko.  Defensively, he's not as intimidating as Amir Johnson.  However, what Lee may lack in utility, he makes up for in decisiveness and moxie.  He can't do everything in the read and react system, but there's something refreshing in how confident Lee is in knowing what he does well and going out and doing it.  At this point in Lee's career, what you see is what you get, but let's not forget that Lee is a two-time All Star in both conferences who has practically averaged a double-double his entire career.  What you get is still pretty good at 32-years-old.

Right now, you can draft David Lee for a bargain basement price of $4,200 on FanDuel.  If you're looking for value in Boston's upcoming home-and-home with the Brooklyn Nets, you might want to consider DLee.  With his move to the bench, his minutes have come on the second half of the first and third quarters.  That's perfect for Lee's rim attacking style.

He's been effective in pick-and-rolls and late shot clock situations with his back to the basket.  Over 87% of his shots are less than 9 feet from the rim (53.8% less than 5 feet from the rim) and he's shooting 85.7% from the free throw line.  He's bristled due to his lack of PT, but Lee won his first Tommy Award last night for his effort off the bench and let's hope that there are more games like that out of him going forward.

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