I don't know if this has already come up in another recent thread (I'm short of time and can't check everything these days), but is anyone else worried about the heavy minutes Boston's superstar trio is logging so early in the season*? To get everyone on the same page, these are the numbers after six games into the season...
When Boston made all those rather smart FA signings (considering what was available on the market) to bolster their bench after trading for Allen and KG, I was hoping for a little more rest for KG, Allen and Pierce. After all, they are on the wrong side of the thirties, have plenty of mileage on their counters and there will still be a lot of games to come during the season and how far the playoffs will take them. I would point out, that other vet-loaded teams, like my admired San Antonio Spurs, are doing everything to peak at the playoffs, even if it means sacrificing some games or even homecourt advantage in the playoffs. And although none of Boston's trio has gone deep into the playoffs on a regular basis but have even played for tanking teams much of their careers (therefore have played a little less games than one might expect), it could be wise to limit their minutes and thereby the possibility of an injury, which becomes more and more likely the older the body gets even without the wear and tear of being a professional athlete. And noone can deny that a serious injury to either one of Allen, KG or Pierce would be devastating for this team.
On the other hand, it could be held that the team needs every time it can get playing together. Pierce, Allen and Garnett are of high basketball IQ and battel hardened vets, they have had the whole preseason to prepare and are able and obviously willing to put the team above their own interests. But if the international competition and the success of teams like the Spurs have shown, there is only little as valuable to a team as the experience of playing together as...a team and understanding each other even blindfolded. And with the window of opportunity very short for those againg Celtics (for example: See Miami), they can't afford to consider this year as a prolonged training camp and aim for the title next one. They need to attack now...if they'll get another shot with an even deeper bench next year...fine, but they can't count on that. Therefore, they need to build this experience now and what could be a better time to build experience and confidence like the early season when many teams either sleepwalk through most games or are preserving their best players?
An arguement could also be made that the three are simply enjoying the situation in Boston (playing with equal talent for the first time in their careers) so much that they WANT to be on the court as much as possible and that this momentum will keep them going in the playoffs as well.
Sooo, what are you thinking about this issue? Will riding the three big names so hard early in the season help or hurt the Celtics in their hunt for the title?
* As usual, I have no first hand experience, but I have learned that the Celts dominated some of the games they played with huge leads at halftime or in the 3rd quater. The numbers I stated above do not indicate such, but did any of the big three sit during those times? The opportunity was there...
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