James Young is a very good shooter. The Celtics need more shooters. It would behoove them to get him some playing time this year so that he gets a feel for the NBA game and will (in theory) be better prepared to contribute in future years.
Brad Stevens has been reluctant to use the green rookie thus far though, and some of that has just been bad luck and and an overflowing depth chart.
"It's a lot less about the confidence than it is about, there are other guys there too," Stevens said. "Right when he's about ready to get over the hump in the preseason, he has a shoulder (injury). Then he was sick before the West coast trip. He's had some issues in that regard, and I think that's just part of it as a young guy with other guys in the fold." "When you look at our 2s and 3s right now, you're looking at Avery (Bradley) and Jae Crowder and Marcus Thornton and Tayshaun (Prince), and then you slide Marcus Smart over there a lot because Evan (Turner) and Marcus can play together. That's a lot of traffic at those positions. But we'll see how it all plays out. And we may play smaller as we move forward too."
But Stevens indicates that Young will likely start to play more soon.
"I think we're going to see him sooner rather than later for us," Stevens said at the TD Garden, "a lot more than we have."
He went on to explain that offensively Young is ready to contribute now. Defensively he's not there yet. In a recent game Abby Chin reported that Stevens was yelling at Young for an entire defensive trip down the court. He came out of the game at that point and didn't return.
Stevens also indicated that Young is not strong enough to guard some of the guys in this league. That's a fair point. He's got a lot to learn and hopefully he'll get it soon enough.
We've seen a success story in Avery Bradley who was brought along slowly and eventually won over the trust of the coaching staff. Here's hoping that we'll get similar results with James Young.
Presumably once the trade deadline passes, there will be fewer bodies in front of him on the depth chart. At the very least there are reports that Tayshaun Prince will seek a buyout if he's not dealt. So sooner or later Stevens will have little choice but to roll with Young.
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