Boston Celtics shooting guard Courtney Lee played a big role in the team’s success during the regular season. However, head coach Doc Rivers has decided to play Lee significantly less during the NBA playoffs. Is Rivers wrong for demoting Lee, especially since the Celtics are down two games to the New York Knicks?
Lee posted 7.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 46.4 percent from the field in 24.9 minutes of game time. He has seen his playing time drop drastically to the point where he only saw four minutes of action in Boston’s 87-71 loss to New York Tuesday night. For anyone wondering what the heck is going on Rivers had a simple explanation.
“I’m not playing him right now,” Rivers said, according to Boston.com. “Honestly, Jordan [Crawford] has moved in front of him on the depth chart. But Courtney will have a say in this series. I believe that.”
How Rivers expects Lee to “have a say in the series” is interesting considering he will not be able to do much from the bench. I understand that a meager four points, all from the free throw line, in 20 minutes of action in Game 1 is not very productive. However, Lee has proven talent once he gets into a rhythm.
The hard part to understand about this situation is that Jordan Crawford is not performing much better as he averaged five points in 18 minutes in the first two games of the series. Not to mention, Crawford’s numbers were statistically worse than Lee during the regular season.
Considering the Celtics have yet to win a game, it is understandable why Rivers is trying to shake things up. With both players not accomplishing much in their limited playing time, he is basically taking a gamble on who is going to come through. It appears Crawford will see more minutes in Game 3, but if he does not deliver then expect Lee to see more action in Game 4.