All season long the Celtics’ depth has been (correctly) pointed out as a strength. The team has had their share of ups and downs, but part of their success has come from various players that have stepped up and performed when called upon.
With that said, generally speaking teams tend to shorten up their rotations for the playoffs. There is more rest between games and each game is more critical so the coaches want the best players on the court for as long as possible.
So who should be in the Celtics rotation?
The no brainer group consists of the starters and a few key reserves. Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward are all locks to get extended playing time. (note: all of this assumes everyone is healthy and available for the playoffs)
Terry Rozier has had a big role this year and would seem to have a big role going forward. On the other hand, he’s also been one of the more inconsistent players and may get a quick hook if he’s not following the coach’s game plan closely.
Aron Baynes is another critical role player that anchors the defense. Hopefully he’ll be healed from his latest injury enough to contribute. If he’s hurt or if Stevens needs a more mobile big man, he can turn to Daniel Theis or even Robert Williams III in short bursts.
That’s already a 9 or 10 man rotation. Will anyone else be called upon? It could depend on the matchup each round. For example, Semi Ojeleye played a key role in the Bucks series last year, but was largely out of the rotation for the rest of the playoffs.
Will Brad Stevens call upon Brad Wanamaker, Guerschon Yabusele, PJ Dozier, or RJ Hunter? Probably not, but you never know.
Who do you think needs to be in (or out) of the rotation?