The Boston Celtics finally have a deep rotation for head coach Ime Udoka next season as the heart of the offseason was focused on revamping the team without taking pieces away. In doing so, Brad Stevens still hasn’t missed since taking the job as president of basketball operations.
Stevens filled multiple holes within his roster by acquiring veterans Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari. Adding bench production, facilitation, and scoring by acquiring two players is a huge win for Stevens and the Celtics.
What this move allows the Celtics to do is run a more balanced team than they’ve ever had in the last 10 years. Udoka will have a legitimate versatile 10-man rotation that he should feel confident in utilizing next season.
The consensus last year was that the Celtics were “too fatigued” to finish strongly down the stretch in the playoffs. This rotation is not built to only get the C’s to the playoffs, but also through the playoffs and that’s the biggest difference from last year to this year.
This team is poised for a championship as currently constituted. Let’s take a look at a few lineups and rotations that Udoka can potentially run with this upcoming season:
Starting Lineup #1
This is the most preferred lineup that Boston ran with last season. This lineup gives everything from versatility on both ends of the court and defensive pressure from all five players.
If Boston is unable to add another quality center, it’s hard to believe that the double-big method will work on the nights that Horford is out. Grant can shoot from the corner but he’s too short for the position and is often the brunt of mismatches despite his rather elite defensive skills.
I think we’re going to see more small ball from the Celtics than we’re used to:
Starting Lineup #2
This lineup will continuously facilitate with Smart and Brogdon on the court together. The spacing would be huge as the defense has to respect all five players as shooters and scorers.
Again, defensive integrity isn’t a problem with this group.
It can also be used depending on the opponent, matchup, and if Horford comes off the bench it’ll give the second unit the big man needed for that group.
With the depth of this 10-man rotation, Udoka could essentially have an entire second unit to deploy to the court as a rotation. I do think it’ll benefit Boston to split up their double-big lineups until they add more depth to the position.
Al Horford/ Luke Kornet
White as the lead facilitator allows Pritchard to do what he does best- shoot. While Grant and Gallinari handle the forward positions as shooters on both sides of the court. And lastly our big-man of choice (I suppose).
Obviously there’s a few more moves to be made this summer as the team is not yet complete, but it’s a great overview of where the Celtics stand right now with their roster and potential rotations.
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Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara- USA TODAY Sports