Boston Celtics: Who Should Start?


Another week gone, and another week closer to Boston Celtics basketball. This week the Celtics fly out to Milan to play Olimpia Milano, as the season approaches even closer. With so many quality players on the roster, who steps into the starting line-up for the Celtics this season?

Last season’s starting lineup was Marcus SmartAvery BradleyEvan TurnerKelly Olynyk and Tyler Zeller. This lineup was supplemented with Isaiah ThomasJae Crowder, Jonas Jerekbo and Jared Sullinger who came of the bench. Last season, the starting lineup never seemed to be set and was often mixed with the bench at the same time.

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This year it will be interesting to see what the Celtics will do with newcomers David Lee and Amir Johnson. Lee provides an offensive boost with about 16 points per game and only two seasons removed from an all-star appearance.

Johnson provides some solid defense and rebounding, something that the Celtics sorely lacked from the post position last year. While most Celtics’ fans yearned for a true rim protector, Danny Ainge did the best he could, and found a legitimate defensive presence in Johnson.

The Celtics also drafted  Terry Rozier,  R.J Hunter, and Jordan Mickey in the 2015 NBA draft. Rozier is a slashing point guard who gets to the rim quicker than anybody on the team and will allow the Celtics to penetrate the defense and space the floor better. R.J Hunter is a sharpshooter extraordinaire who has long arms to become a good defender.

Mickey is the pick that most Celtics’ fans are excited for,however because not only has he impressed in the summer league, but he looks like a legitimate rim protector of the future. All of these guys will be battling for minutes along with favorite to be cut in preseason Perry Jones who offers a lot of versatility position wise.

With that all being said here is my take on what the lineup should be: Smart, Bradley, Crowder,Lee and Johnson. With Thomas, Turner, Olynyk, Jerkebo and Zeller coming of the bench. The rookies will compete for garbage time minutes unless they really shine, and I expect to see Jones get cut.

Smart is given reigns of the offense this year instead of Evan Turner while establishing his defensive presence from the point guard spot. Avery Bradley is the captain of the team and has been the number two scoring option since last year along with his stellar defense he is a no brainer to start.

Sep 25, 2015; Waltham, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) during media day at the Boston Celtic Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Jae Crowder showed his defense prowess last year along with his developing three-point shot. David Lee provides instant offense while Amir Johnson provides a possible rim protector and rebounding.

The bench is highlighted by 6th man of the year contender Isaiah Thomas who averaged 19 points a game last year and Jared Sullinger who is on a mission for a new contract and prove he is in shape. Turner provides for a second ball handler of the bench and willy veteran when mixing in the bench and starters.

Jerekbo and Zeller will offer offense and extra bigs if any one of the main ones get hurt. The rookies will get 3rd or 4th string reps, with the exception of Hunter who could help improve the mediocre percentage the Celtics averaged from three land last year while still attempting the most shots in the league.

With this lineup in place the team would be poised for success for the coveted 4th seed that all Celtics fans wish the team can get. Brad Stevens will make plenty of changes throughout the year and there will be no consistent lineup, but this is the lineup you should hope to see on opening day.

Next: Brad Stevens' Mentality Similar to Popovich

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