- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers said after Monday's loss in Dallas that he doesn't believe president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is any more inclined to make a trade given the team's recent struggles because Boston has rarely had its entire lineup on the floor this season.
To hammer home that fact, the Celtics have utilized a whopping 12 different starting lineups this season through 31 games, which ESPN Stats and Info notes is tied for fourth-most in the NBA this season. The Nets have utilized a league-high 16 starting lineup variations; the Bobcats and Nuggets have gone with 13; and the Celtics and Hornets have used 12. Maybe not surprisingly, those five teams have a combined record of 54-106 and only the Nuggets are currently above .500 at 18-15 overall.
It's also worth noting that the Celtics are a mere 8-7 even when they have had their Big Four on the floor to start the game (going 6-6 with Jermaine O'Neal; 0-1 with Brandon Bass; 1-0 with Chris Wilcox; and 1-0 with Greg Stiemsma). But you can certainly make the case that this team needs its entire core healthy in order to be competitive and that simply hasn't happened very often with Celtics players combining to miss a total of 55 due to injuries so far this season.
Already down Rajon Rondo due to suspension and with Jermaine O'Neal (sprained left wrist) and Chris Wilcox (right adductor strain) nursing day-to-day injuries, the Celtics might be forced to use a 13th variation of their starting lineup Wednesday night during the pre-All-Star finale against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
A glance at the 12 other lineups used this season, with their record (with help from numbers maintained by Celtics' media relations):
CELTICS 2011-12 STARTING LINEUPS WITH RECORD
4dMatt Walks, ESPN.com
5dESPN Stats and Information Group
7dESPN Stats & Information