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Should the Celtics go big in Game 4?

Boston has been a small ball team all year, but the playoffs are more physical and slower paced.

Washington Wizards v Boston Celtics - Game Two Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Wizards scored 56 points in the paint to help them blowout the Celtics in Game 3. With the playoffs getting more physical and the pace slowing down, Boston could elect to go big. Should Amir Johnson play more, starting or otherwise?

Alex Kungu: No. Absolutely not. No.

Jeff Clark: I'd go the other way, just go super small and keep them guessing. I know Stevens doesn't want to mess with his bench rotations too much, but I'd love to see Rozier, Brown, or Smart inserted into the starting lineup and emphasize gang rebounding by the guards.

Keith Smith: Johnson should probably see some spot minutes off the bench, if not start. But Stevens has to be very quick to change if things aren't working. He can't let it ride and let the team fall into a deep hole once again.

Bill Sy: What scared me on Thursday night was Washington’s ability to run pick-and-roll in small spaces and because of their size, make easy passes for easy buckets.

Where as Boston wants to spread the floor and give Isaiah Thomas room to work, the Wizards turn the game into a slugfest in the Octagon. Amir is one of the best defenders on the roll (0.72 PPP) and I like Horford acting as a help defender on the weak side.

Lachlan Marr: I’m probably in the minority here in thinking that Amir was an underappreciated element of the Celtics’ success during the regular season. Yet during the small stints of postseason play that we have seen Amir for he hasn’t been particularly impressive, in fact he’s been downright hard to watch. I don’t think starting him against the Wizards is going to help the Celtics’ in any real way, he’s hardly the offensive weapon needed to correct their slow starts.

Based on matchups Olynyk seems like a good option to start, this would allow Johnson to step in off the bench and add a veteran presence to the often shaky second unit. But ultimately the Celtics have lacked a true paint protector all season and Amir is not the answer. In fact, I feel like the reason the Celtics don’t have a strong interior presence is less due to individual players and positions and more to do with scheming and the specifics of Stevens’ system. So if they are to counteract their lack of protection in the paint they’ll have to make up those lost points elsewhere on the court.

Poll

Who should start game 4 for the Celtics?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Gerald Green
    (69 votes)
  • 6%
    Amir Johnson
    (60 votes)
  • 57%
    Jaylen Brown
    (529 votes)
  • 15%
    Marcus Smart
    (138 votes)
  • 13%
    Other
    (124 votes)
920 votes total Vote Now

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