HARTFORD, Conn. Even as Doc Rivers continues to go all mad scientist on the Boston Celtics roster with his ongoing mixing of different player combinations, it's pretty clear that he has a nine-man unit in mind that he's quite comfortable playing consistently.
"We know what the rotation is," Rivers said. "We practice it enough. We're not that concerned by it."
In Saturday's 98-95 overtime loss to the New York Knicks, Rivers had Brandon Bass back in the starting lineup in place of rookie Jared Sullinger. But he kept Jason Terry in with the first unit ahead of Courtney Lee who got the start in Boston's first preseason game in Turkey.
Bass and Terry, joined by the Celtics' usual starting trio of Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, was Boston's third different starting lineup in as many games.
Meanwhile, Boston's bench rotation consisted of Jeff Green, Darko Milicic, Courtney Lee and Sullinger.
"They all played well," Rivers said.
Especially in the first half which ended with the Celtics ahead, 50-42.
All four of Boston's backups had a plusminus ratio of at least 5.
"They did a great job defensively and that allowed them to get some easy baskets in transition," Terry said. "But again, we're just building now. Everybody is trying to find a rhythm at this point."
Green echoed similar sentiments following the loss.
"No matter who is on the bench, we know what we gotta do," said Green who had 12 points. "We watch the game, we see what we have to do, what we have to bring."
And that job is easier when there are not only a number of threats on the floor, but also a team filled with players who know and accept their roles wholeheartedly.
"No matter who it is," Green said. "We're going to come in and do our job."