Doctor MJ wrote:ZeppelinPage wrote:Please take a look at how many minutes Auerbach was playing the Celtics players over the course of the year. Then look at their win totals.
Those teams were even better than what their win totals were come playoff time. The 60s Celtics were ridiculously more talented in both coaching and roster than every other team. Sam Jones was playing 30 MPG and they were still winning 60 games, I mean come on.
I don't think that's so clear.
bkref 1963-64 Celtics
This is the signature Russell year (you can argue he was better in another year, but this is the essential moment for his legacy). It's the year after Cousy retired, when people thought the team was going to fall apart and instead got better putting up an ultra-outlier defensive performance (by DRtg 4.8 better than the #2 Warriors with Wilt and Nate Thurmond, and 10.2 better than anyone else).
Regular season MPG:
Sam Jones 31.3
KC Jones 30.3
Sam Jones 35.6
KC Jones 31.2
I don't see a huge difference there. Still looks largely like a Russell + Platoon system where you're relying on Russell to anchor your defense (and help facilitate the offense) in every meaningful minute and everyone else is given time on the bench to rest.
It's a similar minute distribution, just with the more important players getting more minutes--which no doubt makes them a stronger team in the playoffs. Jones got a 4 MPG increase, as did Heinsohn. I'm guessing those players were needed more for that run. The younger Havlicek got his minutes lowered in favor of more important veterans.
It seemed to depend on the season and playoff competition. Some of the earlier seasons, Auerbach would stay to his rotation but give the all-important Frank Ramsay a boost to 30-35 MPG. In '62 Russell, Heinsohn, Jones, and Cousy all get a nice bump in MPG (as again, they are the vets.) In '65 and '66, come playoff time; Russell, Jones and Havlicek are needed even more by Auerbach. With Jones and Havlicek breaking 40+ MPG.
Basically, even if Auerbach stuck to a similar rotation, he could boost a few key players in minutes after he kept them rested throughout the year. This gave the Celtics an extra gear that made them that much more difficult to defeat.