Sunday, March 29, 2020

Brad Stevens is taking no nonsense or prisoners this time around. Minutes will be scarce for some players, but he wants no tumult.

Brad Stevens opened up about the Celtics depth and the minutes-allocation problem facing the team. After last season, I doubt he will tolerate any whining about limited floor time or lack of involvement in the offense. He is stressing that the Celts are a team, and they need to play like one. Brad is taking no prisoners this season. He will not tolerate more disruption (per Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett):

“It will really depend on the game,” said Stevens. “I can tell you right now five guys that are going to play a lot. I’m sure you can write down who you know those five are (Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart), but everybody else has added a lot of good things, and so there’s a lot of minutes left. There’s a lot of minutes left, and we’re a team and we’re going to have to operate like one.

“Sometimes it’s going to be your night, sometimes it’s not, but we believe in everybody’s ability to impact.”

So could we see 11 players in significant situations on certain nights?

Can you picture it? Semi Ojeleye hasn’t played a minute in the game yet, and he pleads, “Put me in coach.” Stevens looks at him and responds, “This ain’t your night.” Marlon Brando takes it from here:

So we know the core-quintet of Smart, Hayward, Walker, Tatum and Brown will pick up a lot of minutes. Daniel Theis will be at the starting center spot for many of the contests, and we can expect to see quite a bit of Carsen Edwards, Grant Williams, Rob Williams, Enes Kanter and Vincent Poirier. Semi and Brad Wanamaker will most-likely have games where they never take the floor.

With four Celtics vying for playing time at the center spot, don’t expect Theis, Kanter, Poirier or Rob to log a lot of floor time. As Stevens stated, “I don’t think anybody ever really wants to go that deep, but there will times that we do,” Stevens said, “… we’ll be rotating especially our big spots.” And he added that some subs may see 20-minute games and some zero-minute games.

One rookie we can expect to see significant time off the bench is Carsen Edwards. His recent 30-point scoring explosion versus Cleveland is a performance we don’t expect to see from a rookie (per Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett):

“I’ve never seen eight 3’s in five minutes before in a game,” Stevens said of Edwards’ Tuesday burst. “I don’t know if it’s been done.

I have broached a potential second-unit back court of Smart and Edwards. If a game seems lost, this is a duo that can turn things around. Marcus makes defensive plays that come out of nowhere to save the day. Edwards can have scoring binges that can turn the tide. I have followed the NBA for 60 years and can not remember a 24-point explosion in a little more than five minutes from a single player. Can you?

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @_Celtics_Center and Facebook

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