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Celtics lineup strategies 2021-22: The way I see it

 Lately, nothing seems to generate heated discussions among Celtics fans as the question of who starts for Boston - who is the sixth man - who comes off the bench - and who finishes critical games. Take it or leave it, here my take:

At the center spot, Rob Williams needs to start games, at least as an early experiment. The reason? The Celtics from last season had trouble scoring easy baskets, and Rob is surely Boston's main Lob Guy. And his per-36-minutes numbers show 12.3 rebounds per game, 4.3 of which are off the offensive glass. His putbacks are easy hoops.

Ditto for Enes Kanter at the five off the bench. He is a capable scorer down low, and like Williams III, he is a strong rebounder, including ones of the offensive variety. Did I mention easy hoops?

I put Al Horford into the starting-5 because he deserves to be there in a season when he will be trying to resurrect his career after disappointing stints with Philadelphia and Oklahoma City. Fans can recall his effectiveness as a facilitator from the top of the key. I doubt he has lost that.

Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown as starters in the backcourt bring size and defense. And Jayson Tatum at small forward rounds out the starting-5. No need to say more.

I see Josh Richardson as the first guy off the bench, either at shooting guard or small forward, and he certainly fits well as a veteran in that second unit. Add Dennis Schroder for more veteran experience, as well as Payton Pritchard for ball movement and scoring from everywhere on the floor. I already put Kanter into that second unit, and Aaron Nesmith rounds out the quintet, although his size (6'6") makes for a rather small power forward.

That leaves Grant Williams, Jabari Parker, Bruno Fernando, Kris Dunn and Romeo Langford. I see Grant as an end-of-the-bench guy for Boston or some other NBA franchise. He should have a long NBA career, but maybe not in Beantown.

Kris Dunn seems to have been slated for a trade from the moment he was acquired. Bruno remains a raw center-in-training, and it will be interesting to see how Ime Udoka uses him - and how many minutes he logs. Romeo has yet to prove he can stay healthy for any length of time, and no one has any idea if Jabari will stick in Boston or will be gone prior to the start of the season.

There you have it. Oh, one more thought on easy hoops. The Celtics could use a strong rebounder that can get the ball off the glass, and either go for the long outlet pass - or at least quickly get the ball to a racehorse like Pritchard or Carsen Edwards (he always gets lost in the conversation) that can push the ball and force the opposition to react. Bruno and Rob, are you listening?


  1. I like your starting five! Plus the second unit sounds great!

  2. There is something truly exciting about this new Celtics era. Filled with future promise.


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