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Reserve power

3/20/2011

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Glen Davis and Delonte West are two keys to Boston's recent bench success.You might not have noticed, but the Celtics' bench is now a key to the team's success. The revamped reserves could be the difference in winning Banner 18:

--BENCH COULD BE DIFFERENCE FOR CELTICS--

It's no coincidence that Boston's bench has begun to thrive at the very moment that, not only are Delonte West and Glen Davis healthy, but key deadline acquisition Jeff Green is finding his role as bench spark plug. Boston players still get weak-kneed thinking about how this bench might further develop when the O'Neals (and Von Wafer, too) get healthy (which is likely to push offensive-minded center Nenad Krstic to the second unit). But maybe most encouraging is that Boston's bench is starting to put it together regardless of how the reserves are utilized. In what amounted to a must-win situation after dropping the front end of a back-to-back in Houston on Friday, the Celtics leaned on a playoff-like three-man unit of West, Davis and Jeff Green on Saturday in New Orleans. Against the Pacers on Wednesday, Boston used its entire seven-man bench unit, mixing in healthy doses of Carlos Arroyo and Troy Murphy (along with cameos from Avery Bradley and Sasha Pavlovic).