Lineup surprise

When asked about the starting lineup before tonight’s game against the Hornets, Doc Rivers remained coy and declined to name the squad.

He wanted to preserve whatever advantage Boston might have by keeping it a surprise and said he would discuss his choice after the game. As it turned out, the small ball team that took the floor for tipoff was a surprise with Delonte West starting at shooting guard and Ryan Gomes out of the mix. West saw limited playing and practice time during the exhibition season due to injury (strained lower back, infected right toe).

Sebastian Telfair completed the starting backcourt, while Paul Pierce and Wally Szczerbiak filled the two forward positions and Kendrick Perkins got the nod at center.

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The lineup may have been a surprise, but it didn’t offer much of an advantage as Boston fell behind by 10 points (26-16) points by the end of the first quarter. With Rivers far from settled on a rotation and unafraid of tweaking the starting lineup depending on opponent, many more surprises may be ahead for the Celtics.

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