Valuable lessons

paul pierce
Delonte West’s college experience has made him valuable late in games. (Getty Images Photo/Elsa)

Shira Springer writes in Wednesday’s Globe that a smaller lineup of Rajon Rondo, Allan Ray, Delonte West, Ryan Gomes, and Al Jefferson has erased big deficits against both Atlanta and San Antonio in the last two weeks. Part of the success of that lineup comes from the experience of the group: Four of those players played college basketball, a rarity on a young Celtics team.

West says his college experience has helped him perform well in pressure situations in the NBA. He already has one game-winner this season, an 18-footer all the way back on Nov. 8 against Charlotte.

“At St. Joseph’s we were under the microscope,” said West. “Every game was a big game because guys were coming out giving us their best. So we had to hit big shots, and it’s kind of fun playing in that kind of atmosphere.”

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The Celtics have four players (Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, Jefferson, and Kendrick Perkins) who came directly to the NBA from high school. All four players started Jan. 13 against Toronto. The average age of Boston’s starters that day was 22 years and 81 days.

“Talent is talent,” said West. “A lot of our great players in the league now are guys that came straight out of high school and did one year of college. But college experience gives you that composure.”

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