The Boston Celtics offseason started off on a positive note after making it all the way to the NBA Finals. However, it’s gone a bit downhill in recent weeks with free agent acquisition Danilo Gallinari tearing his ACL, ending his season.
Joining Gallinari on the injury list to start the season will be Robert Williams, who is scheduled to miss 8-12 weeks after having a cleanup procedure done on his left knee six months after having surgery on it.
Considering the Celtics haven’t yet revamped their center position, it’s hard to envision them utilizing a double-big lineup, which was one of the best in the NBA last season. The only centers left on the roster are Al Horford and Luke Kornet, to which the aging Horford is supposed to be strictly load-managed this season.
So what are the Celtics going to do?
Well to start, they shouldn’t run a double-big lineup featuring Horford and Kornet. The Celtics are going to need one of them to be available to play with the second unit and to relieve each other throughout the course of a game.
For all the great qualities Grant Williams brings to the position, he is not a center. I’d like to clarify that just because Grant can defend the center position quite elitely doesn’t make him a center. He is still undersized for the position on the offensive side of the court.
That said, the Celtics can use Grant at the four with one of Horford or Kornet at the five. It gives Boston the most versatility due to Grant being able to do so much on both ends while always having a true center on the floor.
Another element that benefits the Celtics is they’re overall team defense. The fact that the entire team can defend might allow them to get away without using double-big lineups as often.
The center position in Boston is important to how well the team runs as a balanced unit. The offense runs through Rob (at times), as he’s an excellent distributor and game changer and the same can be said about Al.
There could still be an addition to this team, a move that Brad Stevens might have up his sleeve, but I wouldn’t expect anything to happen until the trading deadline.
It’s going to be rough starting the season without Rob, as I truly believe he is the key to Boston’s success. But I believe in this team.
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