1.18.2009

Fitch to Start Playing Five Guards

1981-82 Boston Celtics

It will be nothing really new, coach Bill Fitch insists. Still, it should be a little different.

Starting with the Celtics ' game tonight at the Garden against the Chicago Bulls (WRKO, 7:30), Fitch may try to give playing time to five different guards while making certain that M.L. Carr sees action at forward. And the coach will juggle Carr and Larry Bird between frontcourt and backcourt assignments if the situation demands it.

"It's simple enough," Fitch replied when asked if it could be dangerous to tinker with a championship team. "We want to give (Danny) Ainge more playing time," Fitch explained. "He's come along fine, and now for the next six or seven games we want to see what he can do." Fitch said he may begin to play the much-publicized rookie for about 20 minutes a game, twice his average playing time to date. Because Ainge is expected to be primarily a point guard, his expanded role should mean fewer minutes for Tiny Archibald.

"And (Charles) Bradley has to get some playing time. He's making progress," Fitch added. So it's possible that Chris Ford and Gerry Henderson may surrender some minutes, although the latter has been at the top of his game of late.

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