With Game 1 done and dusted, the Celtics must regroup for Game 2 against New York and look to level the series at Madison Square Garden. If the C’s can match the Knicks in Game 2 tomorrow, an enticing three game homestand in Boston at the TD Garden awaits.
One thing we learnt from Game 1 of the series was Doc’s plan to roll with a very short rotation, bringing only Jason Terry, Jordan Crawford and Courtney Lee off the bench. It seems like the use of three guards to back up a starting line-up of Bradley, Pierce, Green, Bass and Garnett could be lacking in size. With bigs such as Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin to compete with on the boards, perhaps Doc Rivers should look towards two players who watched from the sidelines for 48 minutes from game 1, to add size on the court for rebounding if nothing else.
Chris Wilcox has never experienced a playoff game in his 628-game career, which would have many people believing the man would do just about anything the coach asked of him, if given the opportunity to step onto the floor. With season averages of 4.2 PPG, 3 RPG and a very healthy field goal percentage of 72% in 13.6 minutes per contest, Wilcox provides another big body in the contest with the ability to finish around the basket. CW also did a very good job of filling in for Kevin Garnett late in the season, starting 7 games for the season and showing his defensive knowledge in KG’s absence.
The other big man Doc could look to is new fan-favourite Shavlik Randolph, or as Justin of CDU likes to refer to: #ShavKill. Although he was a late-season addition to the Celtics roster, Randolph proved to be a great energy man off the bench in his 16 appearances this season. With averages of 4.2 points, 4.4 rebounds per contest and a field goal percentage of 58% in just 12.4 minutes of action, Shavlik became a favourite for his energy and hustle on the floor, earning Doc’s praise when he told the Washington Post “he leads with his head”, sighting Randolph’s toughness after taking charges, and copping a few blood noses along the way.
Perhaps Wilcox and Randolph could bring some energy and relief to the Celtics front court for the rest of the series, enabling KG, Bass and Jeff Green some much-needed rest in the process. Bring on Game 2!