Celtics already honing their playoff rotation

Celtics already honing their playoff rotation
April 9, 2012, 3:10 pm
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MIAMI The playoffs are just a couple of weeks away for the Boston Celtics. And if you're wondering what their playoff rotation is going to look like, no need to worry about that.

The C's have been going with essentially a playoff-like rotation the past few games, which isn't that unusual this time of year.

Boston is basically going eight players deep with one big man (Greg Stiemsma), a wing player (Sasha Pavlovic) and a guard (Ray Allen).

Those were the only non-starters to play in Boston's 86-72 win at Indiana on Saturday. The Celtics went 11-deep in Sunday's 103-79 win over Philadelphia, but that had more to do with the lopsided nature of the game.

Marquis Daniels has been on both sides of the playoff rotation equation.

"The big thing is you always have to stay ready," said Daniels who is currently out of the regular rotation. "You never know when you're going to get your number called. That's why you see me sometimes staying late, working on my game, so that whenever Doc (Rivers) needs me, I'll be ready to play."

Although he's only a rookie, Stiemsma has adopted a similar mindset.

It helped him get through those long stretches earlier this season when he wasn't playing. And it allows him to have a greater appreciation for where he's at now.

"Whether you're playing or not, you have to come into every game expecting to play," Stiemsma said. "That's one of the great things about being on this team, with a bunch of great guys, great veterans; their preparation. They come ready to play, every night. So when you get out there, you better be ready to play because you don't want to let your teammates down or anything."

While the Celtics are prepared to go into the postseason with this eight-man rotation, you can count on it being expanded when Mickael Pietrus (concussion) returns.

Rivers told reporters prior to Sunday's win over Philadelphia that Pietrus had already passed one of the required tests in order to be allowed back on the floor.

Shortly after Pietrus' concussion, which occurred in Philadelphia on March 23, Rivers was hopeful to have him back in the fold for the playoffs. But if Pietrus continues to progress at this rate, there is a possibility that he could be back in the lineup before the regular season is over.

And that would give the C's even more depth, something no team will refuse as it heads into the playoffs.