Miami are the defending champions. Miami have three All-Stars on their team, and two of those are top 10 NBA players. They are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. They beat us in 7 games last season, fair and square, behind Lebron who put the team on his shoulders.
I can handle getting beaten by Miami in the first game of the season - I can even handle it being a blowout. What I can't handle is being blown out by the darn Bucks..that's just embarassing.
Many people are complaining about the makeup of our roster, but I don't have a problem with the players on our roster - I have a problem with the way we're using them.
I'm happy Darko on this team - I think he could be major contributer for us if Doc actully played the guy!
Sullinger also is a nice addition, but he's gotta be used at the PF spot where he is most effective. At that position he isn't too undersized, and he can use his post-up game, his rebounding and his muscle to his advantage. He has no such advantage against NBA centers, who will likely destroy him on offense.
Bass should NEVER play center. Hell, I would even rather see Sullinger at Center then Bass. Bass is undersized at the PF spot as it is and he does not have the size to defend Centers. His athleticism and muscle are more useful at the PF spot. The guy is listed at 6'8" which is way too short for a center, even before you consider the fact that he is closer to 6'7".
The fact of the matter is plain and simple - I don't care what the matchup is, we need somebody in the middle to defend the paint AT ALL TIMES. If KG sits then it's got to be Darko, or Collins, or even Melo if we get that desperate. We need somebody on the court who can either:
1. Block shots
2. Put opposing players on their back
I don't mind which method is used, as long as opposing teams learn the hard way that there are no easy baskets against us going to the basket.
While KG is at center, it doesn't really matter who we have at PF - Wilcox, Bass and Sully are all fine because we already have a defensive anchor in the paint.
If Darko / Collins is our center, then we should stick to Bass, Wilcox or Green at the PF spot so we maintain some mobility in the frontcourt.
Absolute worst case scenario (if Doc absolutely MUST go small) it should be Wilcox at center. He is the only 'PF' we have who is somewhat capable of playing center. He still doesn't do much to protect the rim though, so this should still only be used under very special circumstances (say, to match up against Bosh/Miami).
This small ball thing is rediculous - why are we trying to match up with other teams? Lottery teams try to 'match' other teams. Mediocre teams try to 'match up' with other teams. Borderline playoff teams try to 'match up' with other teams.
We are the Boston Celtics - we are an elite team. We are a championship contender. Championship condenders do not 'match up' with opposing teams. Championship contenders play to THEIR own game, at THEIR own pace and dominate using THEIR own strengths. Championship contenders force OPPOSING teams to 'match up' with THEM...just like Miami did to us in the season opener.
Also Doc needs to stop drilling this idea in everyones head that our entire season focus is Miami. Forget Miami, I don't care about Miami. The only team we should be focussing on right now is the Boston Celtics. We need to learn to play to our strengths long before we worry about who we're playing against.
We need our most effective lineup out there regardless of who we play against.
I honestly wonder if this whole Miami drilling is messing with everyone's heads. Against Miami the team looked too emotionally invested, and today they look like they have no emotional investment at all. Why did Terry go nuts and take over the game in the last 2 minutes? Why didn't he play like that when we weren't down by 20???
I understand that Doc likes to experiment with all the versatility he has. That experiment led us to a horrible preseason record and consecutive blowouts in our first two games to start the season. How about you ditch the experiment and just put our best lineup's out on the court?
Now I know it may not run everyone the right way, but what we NEED out there in our starting lineup is:
PG: R Rondo
SG: C Lee
SF: P Pierce
PF: J Sullinger
C: K Garnett
This lineup is strong in every area of the game.
Rondo is the best playmaker in the league and a great scorer off penetration.
Lee is a solid perimeter defender and a good shooter.
Pierce is a dominate force who can score and contribute in
Sullinger is a big who will create extra possessions with his offensive rebounding, and get us high percentage shots with his low post game.
Garnett is a center who is mobile enough to defend the P&R, who grabs defensive boards, and who can score inside or out. If Sullinger slips on a defensive play KG can pick up his man, and Sully is less likely to get stuck defending a quicker guy because Rondo, Lee and Pierce are all good perimeter defenders.
Then on our second unit we need:
PG: L Barbosa
SG: J Terry
SF: J Green
PF: B Bass
C: D Milicic
Barbosa is not a proper PG but you know what - neither is Terry. Regardless which of those two guys we have out there we won't have many fancy plays running, all they need to do is bring the ball up. For that reason we need to make the most effective and consistent scorer our SG, and he other guys brings up the ball. Terry is a better scorer off the ball, while Barbosa is probably more effective with the ball (better at taking it to the hole, etc). For this reason we need Barbosa at the point and Terry at the SG position.
Green needs to play SF as a backup to Pierce, where he's more comfortable. I don't mind him playing 4 or 5 minutes at the PF spot, but most of his minutes should be at SF. It's not because he's not capable at the 4, it's just becuase we have 3 other guys who are natural PF's and can probably man the position better.
Bass is a consistent, dead-eye shooter from midrange and we need that scoring punch in the front court of our second lineup to help stretch the floor. He's quick enough to defend the P&R and he's stong enough to defender 'power' players. He could probably even rebound at a decent rate against opposing second tier PF's.
Darko needs to back up KG at center so we have someone to block shots, indimidate, grab defensive rebounds, and commit hard fouls on guys who even think about scoring inside.
Also before anyone complains NO I'm not suggesting that Sullinger is better than Bass. Honestly I think they are similar calibre players who both bring different skill sets. I think Bass gives a slightly higher contribution right now in fact. I've only laid out the lineup this way because this is the best fit for out team. Just like we needed Ray on the bench last year, we need Bass' consistent scoring and energy off the bench this year.
Now for the remaining guys
Collins will get his moments against elite low post bigs (Howard, Bynum, etc) and when Darko gets into foul trouble.
Wilcox will get his minutes when we need an athletic scorer/rebounder in the frontcourt to deal with teams that have more athletic 5's.
Joseph and Melo will get garbage-time minutes along with backup minutes if Green or Collins/Darko/Wilcox get hurt.
THAT needs to be how our rotation works no matter who we are playing against.