Friday, December 18, 2009
Doc envisions 'jayvee' games with NBDL
By Chris Forsberg
BOSTON -- While discussing rookie Lester Hudson's recent assignment to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he envisions a day in which every NBA team has a feeder program and, like a high school junior varsity game, those teams would compete as an undercard to NBA games.
"I hope some day every team does have [their own minor league] team," said Rivers. "There would be a javyee game, literally, before our game. I think that would be terrific. You can play a guy, then dress him for that night, just like you did in high school, where you play for the jayvee and varsity. I think that would be good for our league. I think the fans would get a chance to see some of the guys you drafted."
Rivers' idea came to mind as he discussed shuttling Hudson between the Boston's NBDL affiliate this week. Hudson dropped 42 points in two games with the Red Claws, but should return to the parent club before the upcoming road trip, which begins on Christmas in Orlando.
"I haven't look at [Maine's] schedule, but the original plan was to let him play a couple games -- miss this one [against Philadelphia] -- and come back," said Rivers. "But he's played great and he's playing, so that's a benefit as well."
Unlike last season, when Boston had to send players to Utah to get NBDL experience, the Green are reveling in the ease of having an affiliate within driving distance.
"It has to be helpful, playing in a real game with refs instead of us just yelling and blowing the whistle -- which we never do," said Rivers with a smile. "In practice, [Hudson] is playing behind Eddie [House] and [Rajon] Rondo, so it's tough to get on the floor."
So why recall Hudson if he's gaining valuable experience?
"I want to have 12 guys [on the upcoming road trip]," said Rivers. "If you have a big lead, or it's the other way around, you can put him in and sit other guys. I'd rather have a 12-man team. Other than that, it benefits him staying down."
Rivers admitted he hasn't paid too close attention to how both Hudson and second-year forward Bill Walker have been doing. Walker was sent down to gain experience after missing all of training camp after offseason knee surgery.
Rivers did say it was a luxury that the Red Claws are coached by Austin Ainge, who spent last season with Boston and is running similar plays with the NBDL squad.