Rivers will look at bench to help Pierce, Garnett after marathon game

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Rivers will look at bench to help Pierce, Garnett after marathon game

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Less than 24 hours after a thrilling triple-overtime win over Denver, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers has no plans to change up his starting lineup for tonight's game against Charlotte.

But it's worth keeping an eye on how Rivers handles the minutes of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett who played 54 and 47 minutes, respectively.

"We'd like to limit their minutes in the first half as much as possible, but it is what it is," Rivers said.

For Pierce, the 54 minutes on Sunday was the most he played since he dropped 50 points on the Lebron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers on Feb. 15, 2006.

As for Garnett, it was the most minutes he played as a Celtic and the most he played overall since logging 51 against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 6, 2007 when he was a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Having logged so many minutes, it goes without saying that a Celtics victory will likely involve someone stepping up not named Garnett or Pierce.

"That's every night," Boston's Courtney Lee told CSNNE.com. "It may be some nights someone else might carry the load. But last night, they did for a large amount of time. For sure those guys are probably going to be a little fatigued. Everybody else has to step up and continue to do the things that we've been doing."

Rivers said he will look to his bench more tonight, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Boston's second unit has outscored its backup brethren in each of the C's last seven games - all Boston wins - by an average of 12.8 points per game.

"We're playing 10-deep, sometimes 11 on some nights," Rivers said. "It's just who we are. Everybody understands that, everybody knows. It makes them more comfortable."

And the Celtics are a much tougher team to beat, regardless of how many minutes their core veterans have logged.

With so many different players contributing, the minutes are not going to be consistent night-in and night-out for players.

For example, Lee played just 23 minutes in Sunday's win - the fewest minutes among the starters - while Jason Terry came off the bench and logged a season-high 43 minutes which contributed heavily to his season-high 26 points.

"I didn't have it rolling," said Lee, who had two points while missing four of his five shot attempts against the Nuggets on Sunday. "Doc saw that, made a great sub with J.T. (Terry). It was his night. He had it going, along with Paul and KG. So any given night, it might be someone else's turn. That's what makes us such a great team and why we've been so successful lately. We just have to keep doing what we're doing, keep this winning streak alive."

PODCAST: Tommy Heinsohn on Paul Pierce's place in history; Does Ainge still have a move up his sleeve?

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PODCAST: Tommy Heinsohn on Paul Pierce's place in history; Does Ainge still have a move up his sleeve?

While the NBA offseason has slowed down a little bit, there's still plenty to talk about with the Boston Celtics. Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely quickly hit on the recent discussion on what the events would need to be for the C's to dream about trading for Anthony Davis. Also, while the roster seems to be in place, is Danny Ainge done? He told our Tom Giles last week that the team might not be done, and Sherrod throws out a player that is still available.

For this week's interview, we dial up Tommy Heinsohn to chat about the flurry of changes to the roster, including what he saw in rookie Jayson Tatum at Summer League. Also, Tommy talks about where Paul Pierce ranks in Celtics history.

Shane Larkin to return from EuroLeague to sign with Celtics

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Shane Larkin to return from EuroLeague to sign with Celtics

BOSTON -- Danny Ainge wasn’t kidding when he recently said the Celtics weren’t done adding talent to their roster.

The C's will add EuroLeague point guard Shane Larkin, according to agent Jim Tanner.

Larkin, drafted by Atlanta (and immediately traded on draft night to Dallas) with the 18th overall pick in the 2013, walked away from a deal overseas that would have reportedly paid him $6.3 million for this upcoming season -- significantly less than he will make with the Celtics.
 
However, Boston affords him a chance to jumpstart his NBA career after having played three seasons with three different teams (Dallas, New York and Brooklyn) in which he averaged 5.8 points and 3.2 assists while playing 20.3 minutes per game.
 
He spent last season playing overseas with Baskonia in Spain, appearing in 33 games while averaging 13.1 points per contest.
 
Larkin played collegiately at the University of Miami for Jim Larrinaga, whose son, Jay, is a Celtics assistant coach.
 
Larkin joins a Celtics that has three primary ball-handlers on the roster: Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier.
 
Those three collectively would appear to be enough ball-handling for Boston, prompting one league official contacted by CSNNE.com on Thursday who thinks the addition of Larkin might be a prelude to another trade by the Celtics.
 
And based on Larkin’s initial comments to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, it sounds as though Larkin isn’t being brought in just to provide some depth behind Boston’s other three playmakers.
 
“After talking with Danny Ainge on the phone and hearing what he envisions for me, I knew that it was a great opportunity to continue to grow as a player and eventually become the guy I’m supposed to be in this league,” Larkin told Kennedy via text message.