BROOKLYN – In the first three seasons of the KG era, the Boston Celtics’ starting lineup was constant.
Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins. That’s what you expected to see when you arrived at the arena or turned on your TV to watch the Celtics, and that’s what you got. Over those three seasons, that group started 214 of a possible 304 games and played 4,172 minutes together, which was 1,709 more than any other lineup around the league over that time. And they were very, very good.
Most used lineups, 2007-08 through 2009-10, including postseason
|BOS||Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Garnett, Perkins||214||4,172||109.2||95.5||+13.7||+1,063|
|ATL||Bibby, Johnson, Williams, Smith, Horford||161||2,463||105.1||104.7||+0.4||+5|
|OKC||Westbrook, Sefolosha, Durant, Green, Krstic||99||1,674||102.5||105.8||-3.3||-86|
|UTA||Williams, Brewer, Kirilenko, Boozer, Okur||109||1,615||109.9||106.7||+3.2||+100|
|NOH||Paul, Peterson, Stojakovic, West, Chandler||83||1,548||112.9||102.5||+10.4||+325|
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions
Then Perkins blew out his knee and was eventually traded. Over the last two seasons, the Celtics’ starting lineup wasn’t nearly as consistent, with Glen Davis, Nenad Krstic, Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal and Brandon Bass taking turns as the other big man next to Garnett. And after Bass finally became the starting power forward in the second half of last season, Avery Bradley replaced Allen at the two.
This season, there could be even more flux in the Celtics’ lineup. First of all, Bradley is out to start the season, still recovering from shoulder surgery. But beyond that, it may just be that Doc Rivers decides to mix and match. (more…)