Brad Stevens is searching for answers. He has already adjusted and readjusted his rotations a few times in the first two games. Jaylen Brown, Gerald Green, Tyler Zeller, and Terry Rozier have each seen their time and roles fluctuate.
He might go as far as to switch up the starting lineup too.
Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas traveled home to Tacoma, Washington, on Wednesday morning to be with his grieving family following the death of his younger sister.
Stevens said he would consider lineup and rotation changes because of the way Chicago has dominated much of the first two games. He's hoping, though, that his team, fueled by the notion of being an underdog all season, will respond to the situation with its most inspired basketball of the season.
#Celtics coach Brad Stevens: I think you have to consider changes. ... You have to consider everything.— Scott Souza (@Scott_Souza) April 19, 2017
If you remember, a year ago the Celtics found themselves in a similar hole, down 2 games to none to the Atlanta Hawks. Stevens inserted Jonas Jerebko into the starting lineup and he played well enough to spark the team to 2 straight victories to even up the series at 2 apiece.
Jerebko himself has only played 4 minutes this year, so it doesn’t seem like he’ll be the one to get the starting call. However, it wouldn’t be terribly surprising to see Tyler Zeller make an appearance at tipoff if only to provide some additional size in the paint.
Or perhaps Stevens will elect to go with more scoring and put Kelly Olynyk in with the starters. Then again, he might just punt on the size disadvantage and go with a small-ball lineup from the start. Perhaps starting another guard (Smart? Rozier?) or adding Jaylen Brown to the starters and pushing Jae Crowder down to the 4.
Regardless, it matters less who starts the game and more who makes an impact on the game throughout. The playoffs are all about adjustments and one of the key dials a coach can turn involve changing up rotations for better matchups. The pressure is on Brad Stevens to up his game as much as it is on the players to execute his strategy.