Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Brief Note of Caution

So, the Celtics have jumped out of the gate at 6-0, with an absolutely goofy +16.3 per-game average point differential, reminding Hub hoops fans of the good old days when these kind of starts were taken almost for granted. Fans are returning in droves to the Whatever It's Called Now Garden/Center/Arena to watch the new Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jesus Shuttlesworth slap around the weaker children of the Eastern Conference. All is sunshine and rainbows and fluffy puppy heads on tiny kitten bodies. But . . .

What we haven't seen mentioned yet in many places is that each of the Big Three are (1) on the wrong side of 30, and (2) currently above their career averages in terms of minutes per game:

----------------Age--------Career Average---------Season to Date-------
Garnett:-------31-----------38.3 min/g-------------39.7 min/g----------
Pierce:---------30-----------37.8 min/g-------------38.8 min/g--------
Allen:----------32-----------37.5 min/g-------------40.5 min/g----------

I can see the rationale behind working these guys harder than usual early on--this is the time of year to build on-court familiarity, and to rebuild the public and internal perception of the C's as a franchise. Plus, the Sox and Pats have pretty well monopolized the market over the past few years, so a little buzz would be good for everyone involved with the C's.

But somebody in Boston needs to be taking the longer view, which is that the team isn't going to do anything in the spring or summer unless all three of these guys are healthy and rested. Doc Rivers needs to stop setting the rotation in the way that maximizes the chances of him saving his own behind in the short term, and move to one that gives the C's a chance to win during the probably two-year window that they have with these three near their peaks.

1 comment:

El Angelo said...

Is this a call for more time for Veal Scalabrine and Leon Powe?