The Boston Celtics signed sixth-year forward Shavlik Randolph in the middle of this season, probably with little expectations for what he would provide them on a game to game basis. However, with the injuries that the Celtics have been battling recently, particularly the one to Kevin Garnett, Randolph has found new life in the NBA.
Randolph hadn’t played in the league since 2010 before this season and hadn’t been effective in any of his five seasons before this season. Up to this point in his career, he had averaged just 8.7 minutes of playing time per game. He also averaged only 2.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.3 blocks per game in his first five seasons.
The Celtics have been forced to bring him off the bench to play a solid chunk of minutes over the past couple of weeks, though. Surprisingly, Randolph has been delivering on the opportunity that he’s been given with Boston.
Over the Celtics’ last five games, Randolph has been playing 16.6 minutes per game — more than he has played for his entire career. Over this span, he has averaged seven points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game on fantastic 71.4 percent shooting. Considering how limited a role that he’s been playing, that’s unreal production that he’s been giving Boston.
Randolph has come off the bench, busted his tail and has done all of the right things for the Celtics over the past few weeks. He’s obviously not the type of guy that’s going to dramatically alter the course of a game. However, he is the type of player that can play reserve minutes and maintain a lead for the team. With the playoffs nearing, Boston is lucky that Randolph has shown them that he can be that type of player, especially with all of their injury concerns.