Celtics roll out 5-5-5 minutes plan vs. Toronto

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Celtics roll out 5-5-5 minutes plan vs. Toronto

Boston Celtics fans got their first glimpse at Doc Rivers' "5-5-5 plan" for Kevin Garnett this season.

Rivers intends to play Garnett in three different 5-minute stretches, in each half.

It didn't work out exactly as Rivers planned, but he was nonetheless pleased with Garnett's play in the Celtics' 76-75 preseason win over Toronto on Sunday.

"I did like the rotations with Kevin," Rivers said. "It wasn't exactly 5-5-5, it was 6 one time. I like it."

The purpose is to get Garnett to deliver the kind of all-out intensity he's used to bringing to the floor, without worrying about whether he has enough left in the tank.

"He knows now, 'go hard for five minutes and we're taking you out,'" Rivers said. "We'll figure it out."

While the plan is primarily for Garnett, Rivers hasn't ruled out using it for other players. It makes sense to use it with veteran players, as a way of getting the most out of them in limited bursts.

But Rivers said he wouldn't rule out using the 5-5-5 plan with younger players like Rajon Rondo, as well.

In fact, the C's did some of that with Rondo on Sunday.

While the 5-5-5 plan with Garnett is designed to get him to be more aggressive on offense, using it with Rondo would be to allow him to be a more aggressive, on-the-ball defender.

"We're asking Rondo to pick the ball up and put his pressure (on the ball-handler)," Rivers said. "That's one of the things I thought we got away from last year. We're asking him to get into it, turn the ball and whenever you need a blow, we'll give you a blow and we'll bring you back in."

McAdam: Ridiculous to think Bradley's streak ended because he hit leadoff

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McAdam: Ridiculous to think Bradley's streak ended because he hit leadoff

BOSTON -- If you think John Farrell's decision to hit Jackie Bradley Jr. leadoff for one night is the reason Bradley's 29-game hit streak came to an end, I've got some swamp land you might be interested in buying.

Such silly talk first surfaced mid-afternoon when the lineup was announced. With Mookie Betts getting his first day off this season, somebody had to hit leadoff. Farrell went with the guy who was leading the league in hitting.

That sounds reasonable. But not to some, who cried that putting Bradley at the top was (take your pick) disrupting Bradley's routine, putting him in a place with which he wasn't familiar, or asking him to change his approach.

Of course, none of those made much sense.

First of all, Thursday night marked the sixth (SIXTH!) different spot that Bradley has hit during the hitting streak. He had hit second, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth. So the notion that any change was disruptive was absurd.

As for the notion that Bradley would treat his at-bats differently because he was leading off? Also wrong. Bradley's major adjustment since spring training has been being aggressive early in the count. So, do you know how many pitches Bradley saw in four at-bats as the leadoff hitter? Eight.

Does that sound like someone who was being forced to be more patient for the night, or someone changing their approach by working the count more?

Finally, Bradley hit two balls on the screws -- one to the warning track in right, just in front of the bullpen in his first at-bat and another in front of the center field door, some 400 or so feet away, in his third.

Streaks come to an end, even when hitters belt the ball hard. Twice.