The Celtics bench never developed a solid identity last season following the departures of James Posey and P.J. Brown, but now that Rivers has the material for a reserve unit that may exceed even the quality of the ’08 bench, he sounds like the host of a party. He’s urging them all to mix.
“Yeah, I asked them to come in early,” said Rivers. “I thought we needed to get back together. Bringing Rasheed in, and Marquis, Shelden (Williams), (invitee Mike) Sweetney and (rookie) Lester (Hudson), we needed to get together as a group more before camp started. It’s good that they’re around each other.
“I think we had a very good offseason. I gave Danny (Ainge, the C’s GM) a shopping list after the season and he pretty much fulfilled it. Getting more size, a backup for Paul and Ray that can swing to both players. Marquis Daniels is perfect in that role. We have offensive punch for stretching the floor in Rasheed. We did a lot of what we wanted to do.”
I return to the 1/25/09 game against the Mavs at home. The second unit consisted of Gabe Pruitt at the point, Eddie House at the 2, Glen Davis at the 4, Brian Scalabrine at the 5 (or vice versa), and...and...Ray Allen at the 3. Not only was that unit undersized and in need of an intimidating presence, it was a little short on talent. Remember Baby didn't emerge as a consistent offensive threat until after KG went down. So basically you had two guys who could score on the second unit, and they were both guards, and one of those guards was forced into duty as a forward because our bench was so thin. We saw variations of this lineup in the playoffs, too, only with Starberry at the point. Sheed and S'quisy will give us a slightly different look off the bench, unless, off course, that 7-1 guy becomes a reserve.