BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Celtics are off to a 1-2 start to the season, and some are wondering if Brad Stevens is already set to make a change in his starting five.
The starting lineup of Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, David Lee and Tyler Zeller has struggled over Boston’s last two games, bringing almost nothing on the offensive end of the floor. In Sunday’s loss to San Antonio, Boston hit just six of their 23 shots in the first quarter. The starting five was just 1-for-7 from the floor in the first four minutes of the game when Isaiah Thomas came off the bench, but even he didn’t do much to help as Boston ended the frame with just 13 points.READ MORE: Report: Xander Bogaerts Plans To Opt Out Of Red Sox Contract After 2022 Season
Stevens now has to decide if his starting unit, which had success in Boston’s preseason slate, needs more time to work out their issues or if it’s time for a change. Celtics play-by-play man Mike Gorman joined Toucher & Rich on Wednesday, and thinks Stevens could make some changes to his lineup as early as Wednesday night when the C’s take on the Pacers in Indiana.
“I think he might [make some changes]. Tonight, I don’t know if he will with the starting lineup, but when you look at the numbers at the end of the game in terms of minutes played, you’ll see the five that he wants,” said Gorman.
The struggles are glaring for Boston’s starting frontcourt of Lee and Zeller, who are shooting a combined 30 percent from the floor and averaging just 10 points per game.
“I love the way Zeller runs the floor and I love Lee’s game, but the Celtics want to play a faster pace than those two guys are natural to play. That’s going to be the change,” said Gorman. “I think Amir Johnson will be a starter soon, whether it’s this week or next. The Celtics need to score, and they’re not getting any scoring out of Zeller or Lee.”Massachusetts Reports 1,115 New COVID Cases, 23 Additional Deaths
Gorman noted that the Pacers have experimented with a small lineup this season, with Paul George playing power forward. The Celtics will likely trot out a small lineup as well Wednesday night, but Gorman could see those changes becoming more permanent.
“I think Brad prefers to play small, so you may see some changes made tonight during the game that could last,” he said.
Gorman also touched on who could turn into Boston’s secondary scorer behind Isaiah Thomas, the overall improvement Marcus Smart has shown to start the season and Jared Sullinger’s motivation:
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