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The value of the end of the bench is great

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  June 7, 2010 01:42 PM

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naterobinson300.jpgLOS ANGELES -- One day prior to the Celtics' 103-94 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Doc Rivers scoffed at the notion that Nate Robinson would have increased minutes over Rajon Rondo.

When asked about the spunky point guard's play in Game 1 (four assists and two rebounds in 13 minutes), and whether that warranted increased minutes in the series, Rivers used the thrust of his charm on reporters.

"You must be in the Nate Robinson fan club," Rivers quipped. "No, we've got a guy named Rondo. And I think he's pretty good."

Fast forward to Game 2, and Robinson drops seven points in six minutes, including a huge 3-pointer to keep the Celtics going in the fourth quarter with a majority of their starters out due to foul trouble. But what's more, he gave Rondo a break as the final quarter started so the Celtics guard could get a breather. Rondo had been pushing the rock at a frantic pace for the game, finishing a 41-minute night with a triple double of 19 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. He was all over the place. And he knew very well the benefit of getting that break and Robinson's contribution to the game.

"Nate played great," said Rondo after the game. "It's the second time he's done that this year. He was ready when his name was called."

With Robinson chipping in quality minutes and the game being called as close as it has been by the referees, the end of the Celtics bench continues to provide great minutes for Rivers and the Celtics.

"It's going to be a team effort," Rondo said. "No one guy is going to win the game. I just can't talk enough about what Tony Allen did for us tonight, Big Baby (Glen Davis), Rasheed (Wallace), as well. He's going through his injuries. He just played great for us tonight."

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