Brad Stevens told reporters Monday night before the Celtics’ game in Chicago that Shane Larkin will start with Kyrie Irving sidelined with left knee soreness.
Stevens: “The bench is playing so good. I don’t want to mess with that. Obviously we’ll do it game by game, matchup to matchup if Kyrie misses more games, but we want to keep that bench group together as much as possible.”— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) March 5, 2018
This will be Larkin’s first start for the Celtics after coming in from Spain this past summer. Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart were the expected candidates to start in Irving’s place, but Stevens does not want to break up a second unit that scored 67 points in Houston Saturday night.
Stevens also said that he does not expect Irving’s knee issues to be long term, but that it could certainly last through this week. Boston plays Minnesota on Thursday and then Indiana on Sunday before hosting Washington next Wednesday, so Irving won’t miss a substantial amount of games as he gets his knee right.
The Celtics and Bulls tip off at 8 p.m. EST in Chicago.