Danny Ainge doesn't view bench scoring as Celtics buyout market need

Darren Hartwell
NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics' roster is heavily front-loaded, and Wednesday night was glaring proof.

The Celtics' starting five accounted for all but 16 of their 114 points in a road win over the Utah Jazz.

Brad Wanamaker (eight points) and Enes Kanter (eight points) were the only bench players who scored for Boston, which now ranks 28th in the NBA in bench scoring at 27.8 points per game.

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Granted, Kemba Walker's absence forced Marcus Smart (17 points) into the starting lineup, and when Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward are all healthy, Smart's 12.6 points per game will come off the bench.

But considering Boston is relying so much on its starters -- who combined for 101 of the team's 112 points versus the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday -- shouldn't Danny Ainge look to add scoring depth on the buyout market?

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The Celtics president of basketball operations didn't seem bullish on that market Thursday.

"Just because guys are available on the buyout market and there's people that average points doesn't mean it makes your team better," Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Toucher & Rich."

A handful of notable players -- Tristan Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins and ex-Celtics Isaiah Thomas and Evan Turner among them -- could become available and contribute in the playoffs if they're waived before March 1.

Yet Ainge suggested fans clamoring for big names are often "hoping for a player of a year or two or three years before, and we're not getting what we really need, which is defensive presence, guys that know our system and guys that we know what we are."

As for extra scoring off the bench? Ainge cited his great Celtics teams of the 1980s as proof that bench production is "overrated."

"On our team in the 80s, it was like, 'We need bench scoring.' It's like, 'No you don't. Not when you have five starters that are scoring 120 points (per game),' " Ainge said.

"A lot of teams put their second- or third-best player off the bench. I think that's always overrated, bench scoring. I think depth is important, but you need to have guys that fit into their roles."

With Robert Williams on the mend -- Ainge suggested the Celtics big man could return Saturday against the Houston Rockets -- and Walker hopefully returning soon, Ainge seems content to roll with the squad that's lost just three games in February.

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Danny Ainge doesn't view bench scoring as Celtics buyout market need originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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