BOSTON - While the Celtics' final regular season games looked like a chance for the veteran squad to catch their breath before the playoffs begin on Sunday, it was also an opportunity for Doc Rivers to round out his postseason roster.
With Game 1 against the New York Knicks just days away, it is still uncertain who will be listed on the 12-man roster.
Rivers has been taking a closer look at the bench players who didn't see consistent minutes during the regular season. On Monday night against the Washington Wizards, Von Wafer played nearly 45 minutes as a starter and Carlos Arroyo played nearly 30.
In Wednesday's regular season finale against the Knicks, Wafer, Arroyo, Avery Bradley, Troy Murphy, and Sasha Pavlovic all played more than 25 minutes.
Event after game number 82, there is still time for the reserves to make a case for themselves.
Thats up for debate, Rivers said prior to the Celtics 112-102 victory over the Knicks. I dont think thats newsworthy, personally. What would be more newsworthy is if that 12th man on either roster, if hes playing a lot, I think that would be newsworthy. But no, Im not set obviously. I think the game the other night helped and the game tonight will actually help, and then the two practices.
A multitude of injuries have hindered Rivers from putting a true second unit on the court this season.
Take Shaquille ONeal as an example. With ONeal still sidelined, the Celtics have inserted Jermaine ONeal into the starting lineup. In their ideal situation, Shaq would get the start.
Then theres Delonte West, who, when healthy, would come off the bench behind Rajon Rondo. But after re-aggravating his right ankle on Monday, he did not play on Wednesday, making Arroyo the top option and giving Bradley an opportunity for playing time.
Its been difficult trying to get it on the floor, Rivers said. But weve pretty much said what weve wanted to do all year, we just havent got the chance to do it.
Rivers isnt stressing over making the decision, though. Coaches are permitted to change their rosters during a series, so he will make the necessary adjustments as they come along. It is a welcome change from the policy that was in place during his days as a player.
The great thing about it now is its not a big deal anymore because you can change it every day, he said. Its not like when I played in the olden days when you had to make another roster change and do it for the entire playoffs."
Rivers smiled, I was one of the reasons that rule was changed, because it sucked.
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA