In the NBA teams traditionally set their starting five, and barring injury, stay that way for the duration of the season. Rotational changes certainly take place and adjustments for mismatches occur, but for the most part games start with the "best" five players on the court.
Boston Celtics' coach Doc Rivers is considering bucking that trend this season utilizing what he deems as a "transitional starting lineup."
It would make perfect sense to create mismatches or having the right person on the floor to defend an opposing offensive scheme. Oddly enough, this mindset is not common in the NBA. The starting five remains fixed for one reason alone--chemistry.
Point guard Rajon Rondo does not feel this new approach will be an issue.
"It wouldn't be tough, because that's how we practice," Rondo said. "Doc puts about eight or nine guys on the green team, which is the starting group."
What is different about Rivers' approach is that he has a plan and is tinkering with lineup changes during the preseason. While another team may make changes off the cuff, Rivers appears to know what he wants in every matchup they face throughout the season, and in turn plans practice accordingly.
Simply put, it is akin to an "A" team, "B" team, "C" team, etc. When a team practices with that mindset of each player having multiple roles it is much easier to adapt on a game-by-game basis. When the entire team buys into that mindset, it is much easier to put the concept into working form.
In certain situations why can't Darko Milicic or the rookie Jared Sullinger start at center and slide Kevin Garnett over to power forward? Brandon Bass and Jeff Green are ideal for certain situations as well. Even "sixth-man" Jason Terry could be utilized as a starter in specific matchups.
The problem with this idea occurs when lineups are changed without much thought. I don't see Rivers making such rash decisions. There is a plethora of talent on the Celtics' roster. His job is determining how to utilize it all to win a championship. This "experiment" may just be that "something extra" they need to do just that, especially when facing the likes of the Miami Heat or Los Angeles Lakers.
Could this idea really work?
More Boston Celtics Commentary from Paul Rados:
All data provided by NBA.com
Paul Rados is an avid Boston Celtics fan and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @PSRados.
- Sports & Recreation
- Boston Celtics
- Doc Rivers
- Rajon Rondo