Rotation with MinutesAverage Minutes Per Game for Top Four Reserves
Kevin Garnett 28 Rasheed Wallace 12 BBD 8
Kendrick Perkins 28 Rasheed Wallace 12 BBD 8
Paul Pierce 32 Marquis Daniels 9 Sheed 4 BBD 3
Ray Allen 30 Marquis Daniels 18
Rajon Rondo 36 Eddie House 12
Sheed 28Celtics Nation spends a lot of time worrying about who Danny will get to play the role of the fourth big. Do we need one? Well, of course we do. The tougher question is determining what role he will play.
Now if the daily clamor on Planet Green stems from the need to insure against possible injuries to KG, Perk, and Sheed, then by all means, I get it: we need a talented fourth big capable of contributing and playing a lot of minutes in an expanded role.
But say we stay relatively healthy during the 2009-10 campaign. I mean, Bill Walton played over 100 games for the Celtics in 1985-86 (pre-season, regular season, and playoffs combined), after missing three-and-a-half-seasons due to injuries earlier in his career. So it is entirely possible that KG, Perk, and Sheed will stay healthy this year, especially since none of them has the history of injuries that Mr. Walton did.
So if concerns about insurance fall to the back-burner, exactly what kind of role will this back-up big play?
The above chart might give us some idea. Admittedly, the chart is not entirely realistic. KG, if healthy, will not play 28 minutes or less (unless we bring him off the bench, but I'll pontificate about that idea in a later post). Nor will Sheed be limited to 28 minutes, Ray Allen limited to 30 minutes, or Paul Pierce limited to 32 minutes. We're talking about KC Jones, er, I mean Doc Rivers, as the coach.
But keep in mind, the more realistic we make the numbers above, the smaller the role for the fourth big. Right now I've got BBD playing a few minutes at the power 3. You take those minutes away, and BBD goes from averaging 19 MPG to 16. You increase the minutes for KG and Sheed? BBD is likely to play even less.
You see where I'm headed.
I hope we re-sign BBD. But if we don't, and we get someone like Yi Jianlian in return, it will be because Danny can't justify paying BBD $4m to $5m per year for 15 minutes of playing time . . . or less.