Will Darko See Time against Tyson Chandler?

While Darko appears to have leapfrogged my 5 milestones for evaluating his progress, the milestones remain relevant because they provide us with something tangible to think about instead of merely relying on what Doc or a teammate has to say about #99 in practice. Tonight, Milestone 3 moves front and center, so to speak.

You may recall that the focus of milestone three was Darko's playing time in NBAx. The Celtics are scheduled to play a steady stream of teams with "classic bigs" in the middle ("classic" here meaning really large), namely New York, Brooklyn, and Philadelphia. Tonight we start off with the Knicks and Tyson Chandler, all 7-1, 240 pounds of him.

Earlier in the weak, Doc suggested that he may answer in the affirmative my question about spot-starting Darko against teams with large pivot men. Now we get to find out just how serious Doc was being. In the Knicks last game, Chandler scored thirteen points (4-5, 5-7) in twenty-two minutes. Twenty two minutes in NBAx is an eternity. The most Darko has played thus far is 19 minutes.

Tonight could be a perfect storm on several fronts -- (1) a great opportunity to spot-start Darko; (2) a great opportunity to expand his minutes; (3) a great opportunity to watch Darko defend a classic big and see how he does (effectiveness, foul trouble, confidence, etc); and (4) a great opportunity to see how defending a classic big impacts other parts of his game, and the overall momentum of the game itself.

Should be fun.

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