Doc Rivers’ decision to start Jason Collins can’t be considered a genius move, as everyone on the planet knows that the Boston Celtics lack size, strength and rebounding. Collins starting was more necessity than mother of invention, and while the stat line was as underwhelming as one might expect, having Collins on the floor did give the Celtics a jump.
Collins played just 23 minutes. He was scoreless – okay, he was also shotless – and he grabbed but two rebounds to go with a single block. But Collins was also willing to body up a big, give a foul – he would fill up the personal foul column with his full complement of six – and he helped to take some of the pressure off of Kevin Garnett.
In short, Jason Collins balled hard last night in Beantown.
Imagine that – just a little addition of size and toughness, and the Celtics look like a different team. (Imagine what they could do if Kendrick Perkins were still on the team.) Starting Jason Collins simply makes the Celtics…well…different. KG can slide back to the four, and he suddenly has a defensive-minded partner playing by his side.
No, Jason Collins is not the answer. Not even close. But his insertion suddenly gives the C’s some depth. Now you’ve got Jared Sullinger at your disposal, if only in a different way. He can come into the game as part of a two-headed monster, three if you count our man KG.
So I’m at least moderately encouraged by what I saw last night. There’s still plenty of work to do, and a higher level of consistency to attain.
But for one night, at least, our Celtics looked like they had a plan.