Yoon S. Byun
He was finally cleared to play yet again, and at with the season nearly over, he was just looking to get on the floor. He played 17 minutes in the Celtics’ 92-80 win over the Pacers. His line in the box score won’t wow anyone, but for someone who’s played just eight games this season, he looked comfortable in his return.
Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff
“He’s been playing somewhere,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. “Because his rhythm was too good. He’s been in a rec league or something. I was amazed how well he handled the ball. Usually when you miss games at the guard position you have the fumbles, you make bad decisions. He had great timing the entire night.”
Rivers did some experimenting with the backcourt, subbing both Carlos Arroyo and West in near the end of the first quarter, and leaving them both on the floor once the second started. Arroyo said he was interested in seeing how things would play out with two floor generals in the backcourt.
“I’m looking forward to that to be honest with you,” Arroyo said. “I’m looking forward to having a different dimension. He can bring it, I can bring it. We both can create our own offense and for our teammates, which is something we’re going to need on that second unit. We’ve got guys that can spread the floor and knock down shots, guys that can rebound, set screens, roll. So having Delonte is great right now.”
When the Celtics were drawing up the plan in the preseason, West was supposed to be the yin to Nate Robinson’s yang, but Robinson was shipped out at the trade deadline. Now, it’s West and Arroyo. West made it clear that he’s trying to earn as much of his teammates’ trust as possible in the final weeks of the season to earn minutes in the playoffs.
“It was pretty cool to be out there with another point guard in Carlos,” West said. “It’s like having two floor generals at the same time. Guys like him can create. It just felt great to be out there. We got a group of new guys. We’re trying to see what we can do, how we can work together and help this first unit out. It was cool to get out there with those guys tonight.”