Celtics: Danny Ainge playing 'small ball' once again - Metro US

Celtics: Danny Ainge playing ‘small ball’ once again

When Danny Ainge was head coach of the Phoenix Suns, he was forced into utilizing a “small ball” lineup due to the fact that Danny Manning was his lone legitimate player hovering near 7-feet.

With a guard assemblage of Kevin Johnson, Jason Kidd, Wesley Person and Rex Chapman, Ainge opted to put his most talented players on the floor over fielding a traditional five.Much of the same could take place this year in Boston as Ainge has put together a team that is particularly guard-heavy.

Yesterday in Waltham, the Celtics practiced multiple “small ball” lineups and spoke on how versatile the 2012-13 squad is expected to be.

“[Rajon Rondo] will be very happy. We put [small lineups] in yesterday, but we didn’t work on it,” Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said. “Today, almost exclusively, we’ll have small lineups on the floor. We’re going to change them all around, so that will be fun. This is the first year that we’ve actually really worked on it. We’re going to work on it so we can do it every day.”

The Celtics leave for a seven-day trip overseas, with stops in Istanbul and Milan, Monday night. Boston will play exhibition games there on Friday and Saturday.

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