By Matt Dolloff

BOSTON (CBS) — Celtics forward David Lee has been listed as a “DNP – Coach’s Decision” for the last two games and sat out four of the last six overall. Coach Brad Stevens has told Lee he is out of the rotation for now as the Celtics look to play with a smaller roster, according to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg.

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But that’s not the newsworthy part of the story. Lee has been somewhat vocal about his removal from the regular rotation, respecting but disagreeing with Stevens’ decision.

“Coach came to me and said we’re going to try and go small at the 4, which means [more minutes for] Kelly and Jonas,” Lee told ESPN. “That’s why Sully has been out of the starting lineup. That was his theory on some changes he wanted to make after us losing a couple of games, so I told him while I disagree with it, I also told him he’s the coach and can choose to do that.”

Lee hasn’t exactly backed up his assertion that he should remain in the rotation with his play on the court. He’s averaging just 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per game and his .472 field goal percentage is a far cry from his .531 career average. That’s not a good sign for a player who is known for his offense.

Stevens described DNPs as “something we reassess after every game,” so Lee’s demotion isn’t necessarily permanent. While Lee’s disagreement with Stevens comes as a surprise for a coach with a reputation as good as his, he seems to have the right attitude about it moving forward.

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“I can either choose to be pissed off or I can choose to keep working hard, and I’m going to keep working hard,” said Lee.

Based on everything Lee said, he’s both. It’s hard to deny that he’s “pissed off” about losing his spot in the rotation, but his anger should motivate him to simply play better and earn his place.

Danny Ainge was asked about the situation in his Thursday morning talk with Toucher & Rich:

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Matt Dolloff is a writer for His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at