The Boston Celtics defeated the Toronto Raptors Saturday afternoon 107-89 behind another strong outing from their bench. The bench has been great as of late and it is a great sign for a team who has constantly had trouble scoring from the second unit.
Last season the Celtics received terrible production from their bench. Arguably their best player in the second unit was Mikael Pietrus and he was injured for most of the year. When he did play, he typically displayed an underwhelming performance. There was one moment in last year’s playoffs against the Miami Heat where he missed a wide open dunk. Keyon Dooling was okay as a reserve but did nothing to wow people and it was clear the team needed to upgrade.
The Celtics acquired Courtney Lee, Jason Terry, and Jared Sullinger over the offseason and welcomed the return of Chris Wilcox. Wilcox has been great of late, playing consistent minutes for head coach Doc Rivers and can also play back-up center when Kevin Garnett needs a breather. Garnett has only been playing in five minute spurts so it is essential for the team to have a capable back-up. The team has Darko Milicic and Jason Collins as true centers, but I don’t believe Rivers would feel overly comfortable throwing them into the fire. Most Celtics fans have to like Wilcox’s play as of late. Terry has moved to the starting lineup and has provided a strong presence in the first unit. Eventually he will most likely shift back to being the team’s 6th man once Avery Bradley returns.
The Celtics have received nice bench production lately and the team hopes it will continue for the long haul.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news go to the team homepage on Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @rlunder18