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Changes in Celtics lineups and strategies already becoming apparent

The Celtics truly-disappointing 2018-19 season must have really struck a chord with Celtics boss, Danny Ainge, and his head man, Brad Stevens. Changes in lineups and offensive/defensive strategies are already becoming apparent as the team's Summer League gets underway.


There are a number of reasons that Avery Bradley, Isaiah Thomas and Terry Rozier are no longer on the Celtics roster, but one of them is that Ainge, who was part of a 6'4"-6'5" back court with Dennis Johnson, seemed to shy away from the little guys. Well, now here comes 6'1" Kemba Walker at the point.

Also, while other teams were gobbling up the European players, Danny seemed reluctant to do so until recently. For the upcoming season, his center spot is dotted with guys from over the pond. Enes Kanter, Vincent Poirier, Daniel Theis and Guerschon Yabusele all hail from Europe. TIMELORD Rob Williams (USA) seems the odd-man-in.

How about big guys that would cover the center spot but have a problem covering guards on the perimeter or hitting treys? Danny wanted no part of that, and thus the center spot was usually covered by the now-departed Al Horford. Now we will most likely have the old-style big, Kanter, covering the bulk of minutes at the 5-spot, despite his aversion to 3-point shots and mediocre proficiency at perimeter defense.


Getting back to Kemba, he thrives on getting to the rim and taking contact, averaging 5.5 free throw attempts per game last season. Kyrie Irving drove into the paint quite a bit, but he avoided contact and averaged only 3.7 FTA's per game last season.

One aspect of Kanter's game that stands out is his rebounding, particularly of the offensive variety. Last season with New York, Enes averaged 10.5 rebounds per game, with 3.9/game being on the offensive end. Al Horford was Boston's top board guy last season with 6.7 RPG, but only 1.7 off the offensive glass.

These are not the only tweaks we will see in this year's version of the guys-in-green. Brad's often-rigid substitution patterns need another look. I nicknamed Williams ROB LOB a while back for a good reason, and Kanter has the same capabilities on lobs. Expect more of them. And expect at least one of the Jay Team duo (Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown) to have a breakout season. Gordon Hayward is working his ass off to become the player we remember in Utah, and hopefully we will see that. To top it all off, Kawhi Leonard is heading out West to the Clippers, opening up opportunities in the Eastern Division even more. Stay with me for an exciting season.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel and Facebook

Photos via Charles Krupa/AP and CBS News









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