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Joe Mazzulla taking K C Jones path on veteran minutes

 Flash back to the 1988 Celtics post-season. Coach K C Jones had his starters on the floor for major minutes. Larry Bird averaged 44.9 MPG - Kevin McHale logged 42.1 MPG - and Dennis Johnson went for 41.3 MPG in the playoffs. Robert Parish and Danny Ainge averaged 36.8 MPG and 39.4 MPG, respectively.

How about rookie Reggie Lewis? He only saw the floor for an average of a paltry 5.8 minutes per contest. K C once responded to a question about his use of big minutes for his vets by stating that a team can not allow the opposition to gain any level of confidence. It appears Joe Mazzulla is following that same line of thinking.

In Boston's convincing 119-106 win over the Hawks in Game-2 of the series, no one registed 40-or-more minutes, but the five starters all played between 32.0 MPG (Al Horford) to 39.3 MPG (Jayson Tatum) and remained on the floor with the game totally in hand by Boston

Whether Mazzulla will continue this non-substitution strategy remains to be seen, but injuries often follow fatigue. Thus far, Rob Williams has looked fresh and healthy out there - but was still in the game with the Celtics ahead by 18 points with 49 seconds remaining in the game - when he was replaced by Luke Kornet.

Joe Mazzulla is taking the conservative route, as his predecessor, K C Jones, once did by showing the opposition "no quarter" with Boston holding a commanding lead. At least for the Hawks series, a more-liberal substitution pattern may be in order.


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